Wellcome Sanger Institute, Genome Research Limited
Darwin Tree of Life Project

Darwin Tree of Life Project

The Darwin Tree of Life Project is a collaboration by scientific partners to produce high-quality reference genomes for all known species of animals, plants, fungi and protists in Britain and Ireland.

For the latest genome releases, activities and other news from Darwin Tree of Life, visit the project website.

About Darwin Tree of Life

The Earth is experiencing the “sixth great extinction”, an event that threatens the biodiversity upon which human society depends. As part of global initiatives to use genomics to reveal and understand biodiversity, and thus contribute to conservation and mitigation of the effects of catastrophic change, the Sanger Institute has initiated the Tree of Life programme. The Darwin Tree of Life project is one of the programme’s key activities.

Darwin Tree of Life is a collaborative project between ten biodiversity, genomics and analysis partners.

Together we are collecting and identifying specimens, extracting and sequencing DNA and RNA, and assembling and annotating the genomes of the approximately 70,000 species with which we share these islands. We will make the data openly available for re-use in biological research, conservation, biotechnology and beyond.

Suggest a species to be sequenced by the Darwin Tree of Life Project

Darwin Tree of Life will eventually sequence all described eukaryotic species in Britain and Ireland, but we’d like community input into which of these should be done first. A list of species for which sequencing is already underway can be explored at the Darwin Tree of Life Data Portal.


If you need help or have any queries, please contact us using the details below.

Sanger people

Photo of Professor Mark Blaxter

Professor Mark Blaxter

Programme Lead for Tree of Life Programme and Senior Group Leader

Photo of Dr Mara Lawniczak

Dr Mara Lawniczak

Senior Group Leader

Photo of Dr Richard Durbin

Dr Richard Durbin

Associate Faculty

Photo of Molly Carter

Molly Carter

Project Coordinator

Photo of Dr Kerstin Howe

Dr Kerstin Howe

Head of Production Genomics

Photo of Dr Caroline Howard

Dr Caroline Howard

Senior Scientific Manager

Photo of Manuel Filipe Dos Santos Cruz Batista

Manuel Filipe Dos Santos Cruz Batista

Head of Project Management & Operations

Photo of Dr Matthieu Muffato

Dr Matthieu Muffato

Informatics Infrastructure Team Lead

Photo of Dr Andrew Varley

Dr Andrew Varley

Enabling Platforms Team Lead

Related groups

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