Katerina Guschanski

Key publications

Hooper R, Brealey J, Valk T van der, Alberdi A, Durban JW, Fearnbach H, Robertson KM, Baird RW, Hanson MB, Wade P, Gilbert T, Phillip Morin A, Wolf JBW, Foote AD*, Guschanski K*. 2018. Characterising the microbiome from host shotgun sequencing data: bacterial and diatom community dynamics derived from killer whale skin. Molecular Ecology(accepted).

van der Valk T, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Caillaud D, Ngobobo U, Binyinyi E, Nishuli R, Stoinski T, Gilissen E, Sonet G, Semal P, Kalthoff DC, Dalén L, Guschanski K. 2018. Significant loss of mitochondrial diversity within the last century due to extinction of peripheral populations in eastern gorillas. Scientific Reports8(1): 6551

Guschanski K, Warnefors M, Kaessmann H. 2017. The evolution of duplicate gene expression in mammalian organs. Genome Research27: 1461-1474.

van der Valk T, Lona Durazo F, Dalén L, Guschanski K. 2017. Whole mitochondrial genome capture from fecal samples and museum-preserved specimens. Molecular Ecology Resources17: e111-e121.

Guschanski K, Krause J, Sawyer S, Bailey S, Finstermeier K, Valente LM, Sabin R, Gilissen E, Sonet G, Nagy ZT, Lenglet G, Mayer F, Savolainen V. 2013. Next-generation museomics disentangles one of the largest primate radiations. Systematic Biology62: 539-554.

Research interests

We are interested in understanding how evolutionary and ecological processes shape biological diversity in time and space. To achieve this goal, we study population genetics and genomics, metagenomics, phylogentics, speciation, and adaptation in wild, non-model organisms, and combine vastly different approaches, including collection-based and field studies, molecular techniques, ancient DNA methodology, and bioinformatics expertise. Our work aims to understand how genetic diversity and the interaction of organisms with their environment change through time and space and what is the relative contribution of climatic and anthropogenic factors to this change. To tackle these broad questions, I am working at the intersection of ecology, molecular biology, large-scale comparative and functional genomics, and bioinformatics.

One of our foci is on nonhuman primates. Many primate taxa are threatened or endangered. Therefore, our research aims to contribute to their conservation by providing valuable data for conservation efforts. In particular, the use of museum specimens provides a direct past-to-present comparison and enables us to study e.g. changes in genetic diversity, population size, species range, and allows inferences into the factors responsible for these changes.

The research program in our lab focuses on three main questions:

  1. How do ecological, climatic, and anthropogenic factors affect animal populations, including their demography and evolutionary potential?
  2. What is the temporal trajectory of organism-environment interactions, including diet and health, through periods of environmental change?
  3. What is the role of hybridization/introgression in shaping species diversity and driving speciation?

Group members

Jaelle C. Brealey, Postdoc
Tom van der Valk, PhD student



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Last updated: 2022-11-30

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