Tree of life

ACE director, Phil Hugenholtz, was awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship on his favourite topic, microbial evolution and classification.

Professor Philip Hugenholtz was awarded $2.98m for his research in microbial ecology and genomics.

His project on reconstructing the universal tree and network of life aims to obtain 100,000 genome sequences from uncultured organisms, so called “microbial dark matter”, and systematically organise them into natural evolutionary relationships to provide a comprehensive overview of microbial diversity.

“The framework developed in this project seeks to replace the current incomplete classification of micro-organisms to provide fundamental insights into ecology and evolution,” he said.

“We hope that project outcomes can be applied to manage risk and capture opportunities in important Australian industries including agriculture, mining and biotechnology.”

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