Burbano Lab

Our logo was designed by: Patricia Lang and Alex

Research summary

Our group uses a retrospective approach to address a broad range of questions in the evolution of plants and their pathogens. This approach gains its power from obtaining direct observations from the past through sequencing historical and ancient samples, and combining them with present-day genomic information. Our group has pioneered the use of herbarium specimens and plant archaeological remains for evolutionary genomics studies using standards and techniques akin to the ones that have been successfully used in human ancient genomics. Currently, our research focuses on three main topics: the dynamics of past plant-pathogen epidemics; the identification and timing of key events in crop domestication and the spread of agriculture; and the colonization of new ecological niches by invasive/introduced species.

Picture courtesy of George Wang

Lab History

The Research Group for Ancient Genomics and Evolution started in 2014 at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology. The group was generously funded by the Department of Molecular Biology led by Detlef Weigel, and by the Presidential Innovation Fund of the Max Planck Society.


Centre for Life's Origins and EvolutionDepartment of Genetics, Evolution and EnvironmentUniversity College LondonDarwin BuildingGower StreetLondonWC1E 6BT