Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology

We use modern genetic techniques to inform conservation decisions and to clarify relationships within and between species.

Field with purple orchids in

The team uses modern techniques to investigate the genetics of species in need of conservation (including endangered species and crop wild relatives) and to clarify their relationships.

We use a range of high-throughput DNA sequencing, Sanger DNA sequencing and genetic fingerprinting techniques, and we combine the genetic results with complementary data from other sources to inform conservation management decisions.

We focus on species in the UK and the UK Overseas Territories, but we also work on species from elsewhere often in collaboration with colleagues from overseas.

Our current major interests include: European orchids, crops and their wild relatives including species of yams (Dioscorea), Sorbus, Pyrus sensu lato (such as whitebeams and mountain ash), flax (Linum) and carob (Ceratonia). The results are presented as scientific papers, conservation genetics reports and other formats.

We have a strong record in training the future generation of conservation biologists.

Team members

Senior research leader
Prof. Mike F Fay

Research leader
Dr Juan Viruel
Dr Laura Martínez-Suz
Dr Viswambharan Sarasan

Future Leader fellow
Dr Roberta Gargiulo

Post Doctoral Research Assistants
Guillaume Delhaye
Jacopo Calevo
Onja Razanamaro

Research assistant
Dr Elena Arrigoni
Oliver Lindsay

Honorary research associates
Dr Maarten Christenhusz
Dr Hassan Rankou
Dr Jill Kowal
Professor Martin Bidartondo

PhD students

Anthony Maldonado Castro
Margret Veltman
María Jesús Ariza Molina
Michal Zweig
Muyao Qi
Sarah Coates
Tara O’Neill
Thomas Heller

MSc student
Mauro Ferreiro

Other staff
Rachel Day
Matthew Campbell
Mike Charters
Andrea Dove
Alex Byrne
Jess Bode
Itxaso Quintana