Jan Pawlowski Group

Department of Genetics and Evolution - Faculty of Science, University of Geneva

Department of Genetics and Evolution
Laboratory of Molecular Systematics
and Environmental Genomics
Sciences III - University of Geneva
Room 4071B - 4th floor
30, quai Ernest-Ansermet
CH - 1211 Geneva 4

Phone: +41 (0)22 379 30 69
Fax: +41 (0)22 379 31 07

Jan Pawlowski
Associate professor

Project at a glance

We are interested in molecular evolution and ecology of protists, using genomic data to reconstruct their phylogenetic relations and assess their diversity.

Protists are a heterogeneous assemblage of single-cell eukaryotes characterized by large variety of forms and complex cell structures. Our research focuses on Foraminifera, a highly diverse group of mainly marine protists that are characterized by the presence of an external skeleton (a test) that can be organic, agglutinated or calcareous. Because of their abundance and diversity, the Foraminifera are the most important group of microfossils, widely used as biostratigraphic markers and bioindicators.

Our main interest is to reconstruct evolutionary history of Foraminifera by combining molecular, morphological and fossil data. We are using phylogenomic approach to establish the relationships between major foraminiferal groups and to gain insight into the origin of skeletonization and evolution of multilocular tests. We are developing molecular barcoding approach to assess the present and past diversity of Foraminifera in environmental samples.

Besides Foraminifera, we are also interested in evolution of other amoeboid protists. Currently we are involved in the collaborative project on molecular barcoding of amoebae, together with the University of Neuchâtel and the University of St. Petersburg.