Research output per year

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Personal profile


Mike completed at PhD in Evolutionary Genetics at the Institute for Advanced Study at Massy University in New Zealand in 2009. After that he took up a Distinguished Postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Molecular Biology at Academia Sinica in Taiwan. In 2012 Mike moved to the USA to take up a Postdoctoral fellow ship in the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University.

Research interests

Mike is interested in the genetics of adaptation. To study this question, his lab propagates populations of yeast (and other microbes) for 1000's of generations in a variety of laboratory environments. Microbes grow and divide very quickly, providing a means for directly observing evolution as it happens. The goal is to understand how organisms adapt to better fit their environment. We do this by finding the mutations that cause adaptation, determining how these mutations change the genetic program of the cell and trying to predict how organisms will respond to environmental change. Mikes lab employs methods such as high throughput robotic liquid handling, whole genome sequencing and molecular genetic techniques.

Research area keywords

  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Mutations
  • Genome Evolution
  • Genetics, microbial

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Research Output

Bismuth phosphinate incorporated nanocellulose sheets with antimicrobial and barrier properties for packaging applications

Maliha, M., Herdman, M., Brammananth, R., McDonald, M., Coppel, R., Werrett, M., Andrews, P. & Batchelor, W., 10 Feb 2020, In : Journal of Cleaner Production. 246, 12 p., 119016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Diverse hydrogen production and consumption pathways influence methane production in ruminants

Greening, C., Geier, R., Wang, C., Woods, L. C., Morales, S. E., McDonald, M. J., Rushton-Green, R., Morgan, X. C., Koike, S., Leahy, S. C., Kelly, W. J., Cann, I., Attwood, G. T., Cook, G. M. & Mackie, R. I., 1 Oct 2019, In : ISME Journal. 13, 10, p. 2617-2632 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

Microbial Experimental Evolution – a proving ground for evolutionary theory and a tool for discovery

McDonald, M. J., 1 Jan 2019, In : EMBO Reports. 20, 8, 14 p., e46992.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Adaptive evolution of genomically recoded Escherichia coli

Wannier, T. M., Kunjapur, A. M., Rice, D. P., McDonald, M. J., Desai, M. M. & Church, G. M., 20 Mar 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 12, p. 3090-3095 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Beneficial Mutations from Evolution Experiments Increase Rates of Growth and Fermentation

Sezmis, A. L., Malerba, M. E., Marshall, D. J. & McDonald, M. J., 1 Feb 2018, In : Journal of Molecular Evolution. 86, 2, p. 111-117 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)