27 October 2017

Submit and take part in our symposium at the II Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology.

Organizers: Laura Eme, Carolin Kosiol, Vincent Daubin, Nicola De Maio

Genomes maintain a chronicle of their own history, from short scale evolution (e.g. cancer and within-host viral evolution) to the last common ancestor of all extant life. For some organisms, such as most microbial lineages, it is practically the sole source of evolutionary information available. For others, the interdependence between genome evolutionary patterns and life history traits (phenotype, ecology, epigenetic…) documented using other techniques remains largely obscure. Recent methodological developments in comparative genomics allow for gene tree / species tree reconciliation and the identification of horizontal gene transfer, for estimating the age, polymorphism and gene repertoire of ancestral populations, for tracing back the history of migrations, population splits and admixtures, and for reconstructing mutational and selective pressures. Understanding the link of these patterns to life history traits, population dynamics and evolutionary success remains a major question and methodological challenge. This symposium is dedicated to new methodological developments in integrating genomic data with other sources of information, from fossils, to phenotypic, epidemiological, epigenetic and geographical data.

Invited speaker: Andrew J. Roger “Realism in phylogenetic models is essential for reconstructing early eukaryote evolution”.

Note the possibility to apply for financial aid for female attendees! 

11 September 2017

Blastocystis is the most prevalent eukaryotic microbe colonizing the human gut, infecting approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide. In this collaborative work, we have sequenced and analyzed the genome of Blastocystis subtype 1, and compared to previously published sequences for ST4 and ST7. Overall, this study provides an important window into the biology of Blastocystis, showcasing significant differences between STs that can guide future experimental investigations into differences in their virulence and clarifying the roles of these organisms in gut health and disease.

Extreme genome diversity in the hyper-prevalent parasitic eukaryote Blastocystis. PLos biology 15 (9), e2003769.


08 August 2017 – Our outreach piece on eukaryogenesis is out in Microbiology Today.

The symbiosis that changed the world. Laura Eme & Thijs J.G. Ettema


01 August 2017 – Currently at the International Congress of Protistology  (Prague, Czech republic). Will be part of the ‘Origin of eukaryotes’ session, and will talk about the archaeal roots of eukaryotes and new Asgard data, Thursday @14.00 in the Labe hall.


24 July 2017Currently at the Gordon Research Conference Archaea.

I will give a talk on Monday @8:50 pm about the archaeal origins of eukaryotes and eukaryogenesis.

In addition, come and discuss my poster (#58) entitled ‘Asgard archaea are the closest archaeal relatives of eukaryotes’.


13 Feb 2017 – Early career researcher interested in symbiosis? Apply for a funded place to attend our workshop “Symbiosis in the microbial world: from ecology to genome evolution“! It will be held in West Sussex, UK from November 5th to 9th, 2017.

This informal workshops will gather 25 world-wide experts and 10 early-career participants and will take place in the beautiful Wiston House in Wilton Park (