The unit of Eukaryotic Phylogenomics focuses on the reconstruction of evolutionary relationships between living beings based on complete genomes and transcriptomic data obtained by next-generation sequencing. Our main research topic concerns the origin and evolution of respiration and photosynthesis in eukaryotes, but we are also interested in the evolution of bacteria and eukaryotes in general. To this end, we use sophisticated phylogenetic techniques (e.g., Bayesian inference) that are very demanding in computing resources. Our laboratory also develops more methodological approaches, such as the study of the impact of various parameters on the phylogenetic inference from genomic data (e.g., species sampling, choice of the statistical model of sequence evolution). Beyond the specific relationships resulting from the evolutionary process, we are also interested in understanding the mechanisms at play, both evolutionary and ecological, notably through the monitoring of extant biodiversity and through the characterisation of dynamics of algal communities when faced to their environment. Finally, a non-negligible fraction of our research effort is devoted to the design, programming, deployment and evaluation of the software tools that necessary to achieve our projects.

Origin and evolution of respiration and photosynthesis

  • Phylogenomic study of the evolutionary mechanisms at the origin of complex red algae (Denis Baurain)
  • Study of the relative weight of endosymbiosis and kleptoplastidy in the evolution of complex algae by automated classification of single-gene phylogenetic trees inferred from public transcriptome data (Denis Baurain), (Mick Van Vlierberghe)
  • Proteomics, transcriptomics and biochemical analyses of the energy metabolism of the secondary green alga Euglena gracilis (Euglenozoa, Excavata) (Emilie Perez)
  • Towards a calibrated molecular dating of the cyanobacterial origin of the chloroplast (Luc Cornet)

Bacterial and eukaryotic evolution

  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - The eukaryotic nucleus: innovation or vestige from a lost world? (Richard Gouy)
  • Towards an integrated scenario for the evolution of bacterial cell wall (Raphaël Léonard)
  • New bioinformatics approaches for the discovery of nonribosomal peptides in eukaryotes (Loïc Meunier)

Dynamics of benthic primary producers and of their habitat

  • Distribution and population dynamics of the macroalgae Codium elisabethae and Codium bursa within western Mediterranean and Macaronesia (Damien Sirjacobs)
  • Evolution (1970–present) of the macroalgal communities at the scale of Calvi Bay (Corsica, France) with a specific focus on the genera Cystoseira and Caulerpa (Damien Sirjacobs)


Our lab operates PhytoSYSTEMS' grid computer (called durandal).




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Principal investigators

Denis Baurain +
+32 (0)4 366 38 64
University of Liège
Bât. B22, Eukaryotic Phylogenomics
Quartier Vallée 1
Chemin de la Vallée 4
B-4000 Liège 1
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