Lab Members

Mark Alson (Postdoc)

Mark is applying the latest computational techniques to: identify and characterise the impact of whole genome duplication on population genomic processes, high quality de-novo assembly and annotation of genomes, and RNA-Seq analysis. Mark joins us from the Earlham Institute where he engaged in a broad range of bioinformatics-based studies and developed a passion for analysing and interpreting big genomic data sets. Projects included microbial community analysis, function and ecology (crop-plant rhizosphere, infected wheat leaves) and elucidating the role of SNPs in syntrophic interactions (biogas production).







Anita Bollmann (PhD student)

I am interested in microbiome-related questions, focussing on several Brassicaceae species that are resilient to either extreme saline or serpentine environments. I want to find out whether microbiome communities may facilitate adaptation to extreme environments. Additionally, because serpentine and high saline soil populations share drought prone conditions I am interested in co-evolutionary patterns of microbial communities between the plant and microbial genomes.







Sian Marian Bray (Postdoc)

A structural biologist who recently joined us from Cambridge, Sian leads genome scans that will shed light on the mechanistic basis of adaptation to genome duplication as well as adaptation to saline soils, issues not only interesting in terms of basic science, but critical for sustainable world food production. Also she is the leader of our pirate-themed survey grass project, which might well be the next big thing in the lab.





Sílvia Busoms González (Postdoc)

Silvia finished a PhD in Plant Biology under a joint international supervision between University of Aberdeen and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. The aim of her project was take advantage of the natural variation in wild populations of Arabidopsis thaliana from the NE of Spain to study the physiological mechanisms and the genetic basis of adaptive traits. She is currently working in ecological genomics of local adaptation (especially edaphic adaptation) and salt tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana and wild outcrossing Brassicaceae species.










Pirita Paajanen (Postdoc)

I am interested in mathematical aspects of genomics, in particular, population genomics of polyploids, and building theoretical models that could explain their resilience and adaptation. I am also interested in questions relating to randomness within biological systems.

My first job in bioinformatics was in the Durbin group in the Sanger Institute, where I studied ancient human DNA. My university education is in pure mathematics at Oxford and Cambridge. For my DPhil in Oxford, supervised by Marcus du Sautoy, I studied group theory and number theory.








Christian Sailer (Postdoc)

Christian is working on several remarkable cases of edaphic adaptation in Arabidopsis arenosa and A. halleri in collaboration with Ute Krämer. He completed an interesting PhD at the University of Zürich focussing on apomixis with Ueli Grossniklaus. Christian recently won an awesome SNSF Advanced Postdoc.Mobility fellowship!










Levi Yant (Principal Investigator)

I enjoyed a PhD in developmental genetics in Tübingen Germany, where I worked with Markus Schmid and Detlef Weigel at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.

After finishing my NIH NRSA postdoc at Harvard with Elena Kramer, I started a group working on understanding adaptation to both environmental and genomic forces.

More on my science history: Levi_Yant_CV_201803