University of Cambridge



Who we are:

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is the fourth oldest university in the world.  With 24,500 students and 11,500 academics, researchers and other staff, its mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.  Over the last century Cambridge scientists have contributed to major advances across the whole range of the biological sciences.

What we’re doing in the Darwin Tree of Life Project:

The Cambridge University contribution to the project is based in the Department of Genetics, where members of Richard Durbin’s group are working on data analysis aspects of the project.  We helped establish the sequence assembly processes, and are working on methods to enable assembly of polyploid and large genomes, as well as new computational tools to support resolving problems during the project.  We are also working on comparative genomics methods and analyses.

Why we’re invested in the Darwin Tree of Life Project:

Over the last 25 years, genomics has had a transformational impact on biomedical science, based on knowledge of the human genome sequence and that of model organisms.  We have helped develop many tools and resources used for this work.  The advent of long read sequencing technologies enables that impact to be extended into our scientific interaction with the whole living world.  We see DToL as leading the sequencing of all species, which will provide an underpinning resource for future science across all of biology.  We are keen both to help contribute towards the establishment of that resource, and also to exploit it to look at how evolution changes and adapts genomes to generate the diversity of life.


Our people in DToL are: