Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nikos Poulakakis (PI).
I started at the University of Crete in 2009 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and PI of the Molecular Systematics Lab (MSL) of the Natural History Museum of Crete (NHMC), University of Crete.
My research group interests focus on phylogenetics, systematics, phylogeography, and species delimitation of animals. A large component of our work combines information from genetics, genomics, ecology, paleogeography to understand the origin and evolutionary history of populations and to inform conservation management. We use a wide variety of new genomic tools in our research, including RADseq for SNP-based phylogenetics, phylogeography and species delimitation. We are currently studying amphibians and reptiles, but we also have on-going projects focused on birds, mammals, land snails, arthropods, and plants inhabiting mainly the eastern Mediterranean region. Additionally, much of our research also focuses on the using techniques suitable for the extraction of ancient DNA from old museum specimens and fossil bones (i.e., giant Galapagos tortoises, and large mammals of the Mediterranean region, such as elephants, deer, hippos).
In death, Lonesome George reveals why giant tortoises live so long