Logsdon Lab



lab members




John's Biology Webpage

The University of Iowa

Department of Biological Sciences

300, 301, 303, 307, 310 Old Biology Building

Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics

Iowa City, IA 52242-1324 USA

Office: 319-335-1082
Lab: 319-335-1083
Fax: 319-335-1069

john-logsdon at uiowa.edu



John M. Logsdon Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Director, Pentacrest Museums

University of Iowa


Associate Professor 2007-present University of Iowa, Department of Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor 2003-2007 University of Iowa, Department of Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor 1999-2003 Emory University
Postdoc 1995-1999 Dalhousie University, Biochemistry (with Ford Doolittle)
Ph.D. 1995 Indiana University, Department of Biology (with Jeff Palmer)
B.S. 1988 Iowa State University, Biology & Psychology


Evolution 002:131, with Bryant McAllister and Lilach Hadany
Topics in Ecology & Evolution 002:190: Sex and Recombination, with Lilach Hadany and Josep Comeron (last offered Spring 2007)
Topics in Ecology & Evolution 002:190: Major Transitions in Evolution (last offered Spring 2005)
Topics in Genetics 127:200: Meiosis: At the nucleus of Genetics, with Bob Malone (last offered Spring 2005)
Topics in Ecology & Evolution: "Ecology and Evolution of Sex" (last offered Spring 2004)

My research interests are generally in the molecular genetic aspects of evolution with a focus on the origin and early evolution of eukaryotes and their genomes, and how they differ from prokaryotes.

My laboratory has a clear evolutionary emphasis, combining experimental molecular biology and computer-based bioinformatic approaches, along with a phylogenetic framework and the comparative method.

In particular, we are studying two main problems:

  • The origin and evolution of meiosis and meiotic recombination using comparative molecular genetic approaches.
  • The evolutionary relationships among diverse eukaryotes ­ mainly protists ­ using protein gene phylogenies.

The genes with which we have initiated our studies of meiosis are eukaryotic homologs of the bacterial recombination protein recA, in yeast called Rad51 and Dmc1. The Dmc1 gene encodes a meiosis-specific version of the recombinase. We are determining the evolutionary history of this gene in a diversity of eukaryotes (mainly protists) and using it to trace the evolution of meiosis itself. We are also expanding this comparative study to include additional genes involved in other aspects of meiosis, including those genes also implicated in various aspects of DNA repair.

For the studies of eukaryotic phylogeny per se, we are using conserved protein coding genes, including the RNA polymerase II large subunits, to investigate the thorny question of "deep branching" eukaryotes. The phylogenetic tree of eukaryotes that is emerging will provide a critical framework for making appropriate evolutionary comparisons among eukaryotic species, genomes and genes.

Graduate Programs at Emory

Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS) programs in:
Genetics and Molecular Biology (GMB)
Population Biology Ecology and Evolution (PBEE)

Courses taught at Emory

Molecular Evolution (IBS 593) Fall 2000, Fall 2002
Evolution (BIOL 461) Fall 2001, (now, BIOL 341) Fall 2002
Investigative Evolution (BIOL 470) Fall 2001
Advanced Topics: The Major Transitions in Evolution (IBS 796R) Spring 2002 with Ichiro Matsumura.
IBS 561 links


Copyright © 2011 John M. Logsdon Jr.

Last modified 25th October 2011.