Evolutionary genomics of pathogens

Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics @UNINE

We are a diverse group of people combining skills in evolutionary biology, microbiology, bioinformatics and genomics. But we are also passionate about conservation genetics and many other topics.

We are at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and run the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics.

To see what we are doing for fun, have a look at our blog posts.

Daniel Croll

Principal investigator, Full Professor

Daniel Daniel Croll is a Professor of Evolutionary Genetics and Vice-Director of the Institute of Biology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Assistant Professor 2017-2022, Full Professor 2023-). He completed his PhD in 2009 at the University of Lausanne, followed by a postdoctoral position at the ETH Zurich with Prof. Bruce A McDonald. Daniel received a Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship to join the lab of Prof. James Kronstad at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from 2013-14. Daniel was a junior group leader and lecturer at the ETH Zurich from 2015-16. Daniel has a broad range of interests from population genetics, microbiology, bioinformatics and conservation genomics.

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Thomas Badet

Maître assistant and postdoctoral fellow

Thomas Evolution of genomes and gene expression

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Alice Feurtey

Postdoctoral fellow / Junior group leader [co-supervised with Bruce McDonald, ETH Zürich]

Alice Population genomics of Zymoseptoria tritici

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Sabina Tralamazza

Postdoctoral fellow

Sabina Metabolome evolution

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Emile Gluck-Thaler

Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow

Emile Emile Gluck-Thaler is a mycologist and evolutionary biologist interested in understanding how organisms adapt to changing ecological contexts. He received a B.Sc. in Life Sciences and Microbiology from McGill University in 2014, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Ohio State University in 2019. He then went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Biological Sciences from 2019-2020 and at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Biology from 2020-2021. His ongoing research interests involve determining the genetic bases of adaptation in plant-associated fungi, and evaluating how selection across environments impacts the evolution of genes and genomes.

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Ana Margarida Sampaio

Postdoctoral fellow

Ana Dynamics of fungal effector evolution


Sandra Milena Gonzalez Sayer

Postdoctoral fellow (Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship)

Ana Genome evolution of Pseudocercospora ulei (South American leaf blight of rubber)


Tobias Baryl

Postdoctoral fellow

Ana Transposable element evolution


Leen Abraham

PhD student

Leen Transcriptional control of host-pathogen interactions

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Luzia Stalder

PhD student

Luzia Microbiome interactions


Vinciane Monod

PhD student [co-supervised with Katia Gindro and Valérie Hofstetter, Agroscope]

Vinciane Monod Grapevine diseases


Hadjer Bellah

Swiss Government Excellence Fellowship PhD student

Hadjer Plant pathogen interactions


Sarai Reyes

PhD student

Sarai Next-generation framework for the detection of genetically modified organisms

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Guido Puccetti

PhD student

Guido Phenomics of Zymoseptoria tritici


Hanna Glad

PhD student



Ivan Skakov

PhD student

Ivan Genome evolution of fungal pathogens


Alice Laigle

PhD student



Gholam-Hossein Jowkar

PhD student [co-supervised with Maria Anisimova, ZHAW Wädenswil]

Gholam Algorithm development for phylogenetic reconstructions


Cecilia Panzetti

PhD student [co-supervised with Karen Sullan, Agroscope Reckenholz]

Cecilia Molecular methods for the detection of crop diseases


Lab technicians

Ophélie Gning

Cristela Bondo Mateus (apprentice)

Asma Adam Abdi (apprentice)


Ursula Oggenfuss (PhD student 2017-2022) Currently Postdoc with Anna Selmecki (University of Minnesota)

Vinciane Mossion (PhD student 2016-2021) Currently Postdoc with Sophie Karrenberg (Uppsala University)

Anik Dutta (PhD student 2017 - 2021) Currently Postdoc with Remco Stam (Kiel University)

Nikhil Kumar Singh (PhD student 2017-2021) Currently Postdoc with Remco Stam (Kiel University)

Simone Fouché (PhD student & postdoc 2015-2020) Currently Postdoc with Virginie Rozot (University of Cape Town)

Laetitia Holzer (MSc student 2020-2021)

Elizabete Ferreira (MSc student 2020-2021)

Nicolas Seiler (MSc student 2020-2021)

Hanna Glad (MSc student 2020-2021)

Fanny Gagliardi (MSc student 2020-2021)

Lea Stauber (PhD student 2017-2021)

Maëlle Wanner (intern/stagiaire 2020)

Estelle Fleury (MSc student 2019-2020)

Emilie Chanclud (SNSF & Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow 2018-2020)

Sami Sayer (visiting PhD student 2019-2020)

Stéphanie Ruaud (MSc student 2018-2020)

Camille Kessler (MSc student 2018-2019)

Norfarhan Mohd-Assad (PhD student 2013-2018, Farhan is now a Senior Lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia)

Luzia Stalder (MSc student 2017, Luzia is now doing her PhD with us)

Tiziana Vonlanthen (MSc student 2016-17, Tiziana works now at the Agroscope Reckenholz as a scientific assistant)

Fanny Gagliardi (intern, Biology student UniNE 2018)

Dr. Clémence Plissonneau​ (postdoctoral fellow, recipient of an INRA Young Scientist grant, Clémence currently is responsible for bioinformatics at Gautier Semences).

Dr. Fanny Hartmann (PhD student 2013-2017, Fanny is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université de Paris-Sud).

Juliana Benevenuto (6-month PhD scholarship from the São Paulo Research Foundation in 2016, Juliana is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Florida State University)

Dr. Ethan Stewart (ETH Zurich, co-supervised PhD student with Bruce McDonald 2011-2016). Ethan is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University.

Christoph Eschenbrenner (Universität Kiel, Germany, visit for genome assembly techniques 2016) ​ Dr. Thierry Marcel (INRA BIOGER, COST SUSTAIN short term scientific mission 2016)

Sandra Wenger (BSc student 2015-2016)

Alessandra Stürchler (MSc research project 2015-2016) ​ Dr. Mark Lendenmann (co-supervised PhD student with Bruce McDonald 2015-2016)

Dr. Jana Drabešová (PhD student internship 2011)