Professor Mark Blaxter

Professor Mark Blaxter is Head of the Tree of Life Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK. He leads a major programme that is generating and analysing reference genome sequences from many thousands of species across the tree of life, with initial focus on the eukaryotic biota of Britain and Ireland (Darwin Tree of Life Project), the genomes of symbiotic organisms (Aquatic Symbiosis Genomics project) and the international European Reference Genome Atlas, Vertebrate Genomes Project and Earth BioGenome Project. Before joining Sanger, he was Professor of Evolutionary Genomics in the University of Edinburgh, where his research portfolio focussed on the genomics of neglected, non-model organisms - and the interpretation of those genomes in ecological and evolutionary contexts. These included, inter alia, parasitic and free living nematodes, tardigrades, snails and bivalves, butterflies, bees, flies, wading birds, algae, fungi and bacteria. He is a highly cited author with over 250 refereed papers. He is a fellow of the Linnaean Society of London, of the Helminthological Society of Washington, of the Royal Society for Biology and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.

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