Andrew J. Roger

Wanda Danilchuk

Marlena Dlutek

Dayana Salas

Joran Martijn

Gregory Seaton

Dandan Zhao

Shelby Williams

Tengteng Zhang

Kelsey Williamson

Former Roger Lab Members

Andrew Roger, P.I.

Our research focuses on the early evolutionary events in the diversification of life some 1-3.5 billion years ago on Earth. For decades we have known that eukaryotes -organisms that package their DNA inside a cell nucleus (e.g. animals, plants, fungi and single-celled protists)-- are vastly different in cell structure from nucleus-lacking prokaryotic cells (e.g. Eubacteria or Archaebacteria). Although it is likely that eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes 1 to 2 billion years ago, the events that occurred in their subsequent diversification into major "kingdoms" remain contentious. The research in our laboratory aims at discerning these events and fitting them onto a robust tree of kingdom-level relationships (click here to see a hypothetical tree we dreamed up).

To do this, we are using a several tiered approach. Our first goal is to sample multiple genes from a wide array of diverse single-celled eukaryotes to build molecular phylogenies. Second, after we have developed molecular biological tools for these organisms, we are initiating larger-scale studies of their genome structure and evolution.

Teaching links