Olga Zhaxybayeva

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Science

My research interests are to understand how microbes change over time. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies brought us an avalanche of data: thousands of genomes and terabases of environmental DNA (metagenomes). I mine these data sets to assess the impact of horizontal gene transfer on microbial populations, find new ways to characterize microbial communities, and track down genomic signatures of microbial adaptations.

Curriculum Vitae Personal Website
Life Sciences Center 026
HB 6044
Biological Sciences
B.S. in Applied Mathematics, Kazakh State University
Ph.D. in Genetics, University of Connecticut
Postdoctroal Training in Microbial Evolution, Dalhousie University
Certificate in Computer Graphics, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Selected Publications

Olga Zhaxybayeva, Ramunas Stepanauskas, Nikhil R. Mohan, and R. ThanePapke: "Cell sorting analysis of geographically separated hypersalineenvironments", Extremophiles, 2013, 17: 265-75.

Olga Zhaxybayeva, Kristen S. Swithers, Julia Foght, Anna Green, BrittanyHeld, David Bruce, ChrisDetter, Shunsheng Han, Hazuki Teshima, James Han, Tanja Woyke, SamPitluck, Len Pennacchio, MattNolan, Natalia Ivanova, Amrita Pati, Miriam L. Land, Marlena Dlutek, W.Ford Doolittle, Kenneth M.Noll and Camilla L. Nesbø: “Genome sequence of the mesophilicThermotogales bacterium Mesotogaprima MesG1.Ag.4.2 reveals largest Thermotogales genome to-date”, GenomeBiology and Evolution,2012, 4: 700-708.

Andrew S. Lang, Olga Zhaxybayeva, and J. Thomas Beatty: “Gene TransferAgents: phage-likeelements of genetic exchange”, Nature Reviews in Microbiology, 2012, 10:472-482

Olga Zhaxybayeva and W. Ford Doolittle: “Lateral Gene Transfer. APrimer”, Current Biology, 2011,21: R242-6.

W. Ford Doolittle and Olga Zhaxybayeva: “Metagenomics and the units ofbiological organization”,BioScience, 2010, 60: 102-112.

W. Ford Doolittle and Olga Zhaxybayeva: On the origin of prokaryoticspecies, Genome Research2009, 19:744-56.

Olga Zhaxybayeva, Kristen Swithers, Pascal Lapierre, Greg Fournier,Derek Bickhard, Robert T.DeBoy, Karen E. Nelson, Camilla L. Nesbø, W. Ford Doolittle, J. PeterGogarten and Kenneth M. Noll:“On the Chimeric Nature, Thermophilic Origin and Phylogenetic Placementof the Thermotogales”, ProcNatl Acad Sci USA, 2009, 106:5865-70.

Adrian K. Sharma, Olga Zhaxybayeva, R. Thane Papke and W.Ford Doolittle:“Actinorhodopsins:proteorhodopsin-like gene sequences found predominantly in non-marineenvironments", EnvironmentalMicrobiology, 2008, 10: 1039–1056.

R. Thane Papke, Olga Zhaxybayeva, Edward Feil, Katrin Sommerfeld, DeniseMuise, W. FordDoolittle: “Searching for species in haloarchaea”, Proc Natl Acad SciUSA, 2007, 104: 14092-14097

Olga Zhaxybayeva, J. Peter Gogarten, Robert L. Charlebois, W. FordDoolittle and R. Thane Papke:“Phylogenetic Analyses of Cyanobacterial Genomes: Quantification ofHorizontal Gene Transfer Events”, Genome Research, 2006, 16:1099-1108.

Olga Zhaxybayeva, Pascal Lapierre and J. Peter Gogarten: “GenomeMosaicism and OrganismalLineages”, Trends in Genetics 2004, 20(5): 254-260.

Olga Zhaxybayeva and J. Peter Gogarten: “Cladogenesis, Coalescence andthe Evolution of the ThreeDomains of Life”, Trends in Genetics 2004, 20(4): 182-187.

Raymond, J., Zhaxybayeva, O., Gogarten, J.P., Gerdes, S., Blankenship,R.E.: “Whole Genome Analysis of Photosynthetic Prokaryotes”. Science2002, 298: 1616-1620.

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