Our research interests are in the broad area of molecular systematics, phylogeny, and phylogeography, using modern and ancient DNA. Sequence data are rapidly becoming the characters of choice for reconstructing phylogenies, as well as for distinguishing the evolutionary forces acting at the DNA level. We are involved in studying micro-evolutionary mechanisms that generate diversity, identifying genes that are useful in phylogeny of several organisms(mainly vertebrates) and using neutral markers to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of organisms and infer current and historical population processes at various spatial and temporal scales.
We are mainly question driven rather than organism bound. Thus, we have been working with a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate taxa, ranging from snails, isopods to frogs, lizards, birds and mammals. Additionally, much of our research also focuses on the using techniques suitable for the extraction of ancient DNA from fossil bones (especially large mammals of the Mediterranean region, such as elephants, deer, hippos) in order to re-evaluate the current taxonomic status of those species and to reconstruct their relationships with the modern relatives.
Russello, M.R., Poulakakis, N., Gibbs, J.P., Tapia, W., Powell, J.R. and Caccone, A. 2010. DNA from the Past Informs Ex situ Conservation for the Future: An “Extinct” Species of Galapagos Tortoise Identified in Captivity. PLOS One5(1), e8683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008683
Lymberakis, P. & Poulakakis, N. 2010. Three continents claiming an archipelago: The evolution of Aegean’s herpetofaunal diversity. Diversity 2, 233-255.
Parmakelis, A, Moustaka, M., Poulakakis, N., Louis, C., Slotman, M.A., Marshall, J.C., Awono-Ambene, P.H., Antonio-Nkondjio, C., Simard, F., Caccone, A. and Powell, J.R. 2010. Anopheles immune genes and amino acid sites evolving under the effect of positive selection. PLOS One 5(1), e8885. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008885).
Poulakakis, N. & Stamatakis, A. 2010. Recapitulating the Evolution of Afrotheria: 57 genes and RGCs consolidate their history. Systematics & Biodiversity 8(3), 395-408.
Deligianni, E., Morgan, R.N., Bertuccini, L., Kooij, T.W.A., Laforge, A., Poulakakis, N. , Schuler, H., Louis, C., Matuschewski, K. & Siden-Kiamos, I. 2011 Critical role for a stage-specific actin in male exflagellation of the malaria parasite. Cellular Microbiology. (accepted).