Comparative Genomics of Non-Model Invertebrates

Paschalis Natsidis

Paschalis Natsidis is working on ESR Project: 12 - Comparative genomics and phylogenetics of the Deuterostomes under the supervision of Prof. Max Telford at the University College London (UCL). Through his project Paschalis is aiming to cast light on currently largely controversial knowledge on phylogenetic relationships of Deuterostomia. By sequencing genomes of important missing clades (an acoelomorph and a pterobranch) and integrating the new data into a comprehensive, up-to-date phylogenomic dataset, he hopes to elucidate the position of some disputed groups (e.g. Xenoturbella), as well as to gain insights on the monophyly of the deuterostomes. Furthermore, Paschalis will reconstruct a chronogram to investigate the divergence times of the different clades and investigate the genome content of deuterostome ancestors.

Paschalis holds a B.Sc. in Biology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a M.Sc. in Bioinformatics from University of Crete. In both of his theses, he investigated phylogenies of different animal groups (crustaceans and teleost fishes respectively). With a decent background in programming (Python) acquired in an internship in Poland and in the first year of his Master’s, Paschalis hopes to prove a perfect match for his ESR Project. His attendance at the EMBO workshop “Computational Molecular Evolution 2018” held in Heraklion, has also greatly enriched the necessary skillset on phylogenetics methods and theory.  

As part of his many interests, Paschalis tries to keep up with the latest advancements in the fields of animal evolution and phylogenetics, as well as the new computational methods and their applications on these topics. He maintains an active Twitter account (@Pnatsidis) for both scientific and casual purposes. In his free time, Paschalis practices hurdling and weightlifting, spends hours on Google Maps, walks around the city taking photos and drinking coffee, and apart from scientific literature, he also enjoys reading fiction books.

Institution: University College London

ESR Project 12Comparative genomics and phylogenetics of the Deuterostomes

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