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Research group leader

Pierre M. Durand

pidurand AT gmail DOT com

Current lab members

Karen van Niekerk

PhD project: The evolution of programmed cell death in dinoflagellates


Jaganmoy Jodder

Postdoctoral fellow: Palaeontological evidence for cooperation and group-level behavior in Precambrian microfossils


SoRi La

MSc. Project: Evolutionary history of Caspase–Hemoglobinase fold proteases en route to eukaryogenesis


Tutuzwa Xuma (secondary supervisor, primary supervisor is Prof Stuart Sym)

PhD project: The ultrastructure of programmed cell death in Prorocentrum triestinum


External PhD advisory committee member for

Nathalie Zeballos

Supervised by Luis Chevin, University of Montpellier


Past lab members


Postdoctoral Fellows

Santosh Sathe (2014 - 2016)

Rajdeep Choudhury (2012 - 2013)


PhD Graduates

Nisha Dhar 2016, Thesis - The molecular evolution of complexity at the origin of life

Dewaldt  Engelbrecht 2015, Thesis- Plasmodium falciparum: programmed cell death in the erythrocytic stages

Jonathan Featherston 2019, Thesis - Genomic and genetic changes during the transition to multicellularity in the Volvocine algae.

Andrew Ndhlovu 2020. Thesis - The metagenomics of an algal bloom


 MSc Graduates

Andrew Ndhlovu 2015, Thesis - An evolutionary rates database EvoDB and alignment algorithm to infer protein domain function

Jasper Grobler 2019, Thesis - Biochemical characterisation of South African indigenous microalgae for biofuel production potential.


Laboratory visitors


Marcelo Barreto Filho (2019), University of Sao Paolo

Professor Alexey Grigoryevich Desnitskiy (2017), St. Petersburg State University

Mr. Abhishek Upadhyay (2015), University of Hong Kong

Mr. Nishant Garg (2015), Boston University Medical School

Professor Cristian Solari (2015), University of Buenos Aires

Professor Rick Michod (2014), University of Arizona

Mrs. Yogita Dolas (2014)

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