We are broadly interested in the diversity and evolution of microbial eukaryotes (aka the protists). Protists represent the vast majority of eukaryotic diversity, yet we have barely scratched the surface of this extraordinary reservoir of genetic information. Without such information, it is currently impossible to comprehensively understand major events in the evolution of eukaryotes. In my group, we develop and apply modern molecular and bioinformatic tools to little known eukaryotic lineages, in order to understand general and specific principles that have accompanied some of the major transitions during eukaryote evolution, such as the origin and spread of plastids.
More info on my group’s website.
Selected recent publications
Burki F, Kaplan M, Tikhonenkov DV, Zlatogursky V, Minh BQ, Radaykina LV, Smirnov A, Mylnikov AP, Keeling PJ “Untangling the early diversification of eukaryotes: a phylogenomic study of the evolutionary origins of Centrohelida, Haptophyta and Cryptista” Proc. R. Soc. B. 2016, 283, 20152802.
Burki F “The Eukaryotic Tree of Life from a Global Phylogenomic Perspective” Cold Spring Harb. Perspect. Biol. 2014, 6:a016147.
Burki F, Keeling PJ “Rhizaria” Curr. Biol. 2014, 24(3), R103-107.
Burki F, Corradi N, Sierra R, Pawlowski J, Meyer G R, Abbott C L, Keeling PJ “Phylogenomics of the intracellular parasite Mikrocytos mackini reveals evidence for a mitosome in Rhizaria” Curr. Biol. 2013, 23, 1541-1547.
Curtis BA, Tanifuji G, Burki F, et al. “Algal genomes reveal evolutionary mosaicism and the fate of nucleomorphs” Nature, 2012, 492:59-65.