Olga Zhaxybayeva

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Simons Foundation Investigator in Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems

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.

Life Sciences Center 333
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

Straub TJ and Zhaxybayeva O (2017) "A null model for microbial diversification", PNAS Early Edition, June 19, 2017

Lori R. Shapiro, Erin D. Scully, Timothy J. Straub, Jihye Park, Andrew G. Stephenson, Gwyn Beattie, Mark Gleason, Roberto Kolter, Miguel C. Coelho, Consuelo M. DeMoraes, Mark C. Mescher, and Olga Zhaxybayeva: "Horizontal Gene Acquisitions, Mobile Element Proliferation, and Genome Decay in the Host-Restricted Plant Pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila", Genome Biol Evol. 2016, 8:649-664.

Pollo SM, Zhaxybayeva O, Nesbo CL: "Insights into thermoadaptation and the evolution of mesophily from the bacterial phylum Thermotogae." Can J Microbiol. 2015, 61:655-70.

Lossouarn J, Nesbo CL, Mercier C, Zhaxybayeva O, Johnson MS, Charchuck R, Farasin J, Bienvenu N, Baudoux AC, Michoud G, Jebbar M, Geslin C. "Menage a trois": a selfish genetic element uses a virus to propagate within Thermotogales. Environ Microbiol. 2015, 17:3278-88.

Nesbo CL, S Swithers K, Dahle H, Haverkamp TH, Birkeland NK, Sokolova T, Kublanov I, Zhaxybayeva O. (2014) "Evidence for extensive gene flow and Thermotoga subpopulations in subsurface and marine environments." ISME J. 2015, 9:1532-42.

Caroline E. Whidden, Katrina G. DeZeeuw, Jackie K. Zorz, Andrew P. Joy, David A. Barnett, Milo S. Johnson, Olga Zhaxybayeva, and Amanda M. Cockshutt (2014) “Quantitative and Functional Characterization of the Hyper-Conserved Protein of Prochlorococcus and marine Synechococcus”, PLoS ONE, 9: e109327.

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

Earlier publications are available at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ecglab/pubs.html

Works in progress

Stephen M. J. Pollo, Abigail A. Adebusuy, Timothy J. Straub, Julia M. Foght, Olga Zhaxybayeva, Camilla L. Nesbo (2017): "Genomic insights and temperature-dependent transcriptional responses of Kosmotoga olearia, a deep-biosphere bacterium that can grow from 20C to 79C", bioRxiv 060053; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/060053