Department of Biology & Biochemistry



4 South 1.8


Tel: +44 (0) 1225 384922


Dr Daniel Henk


Current Research

My research centers on the evolution and ecology of fungi across their broad spectrum of roles in ecosystems and human lives. I primarily use genomics, and I currently have two main research thrusts:

  1. identify fungal communities in healthy, diseased, and changing environments
  2. determine the genomic pathways of fungal evolution in response to biotic and abiotic environmental variation

The first part of my research is essentially about measuring fungal biodiversity and inferring its role in larger communities. Genomics serves the dual purpose of allowing high-throughput identification via targeted sequencing while also allowing fine-scale partitioning of diversity via resequencing. The second part of my research is focused on how genomes evolve in response to environments. This research uses experiments to measure mutation types and rates in a variety of environmental conditions, and my research also uses natural populations to discover how recombination and spatial structure modify fungal evolution. With more genomes sequenced than any other eukaryotic group, fungi offer unique opportunities to study how these complex organisms respond to stressful or permissive environments.


Farrer, R., Henk, D., Fisher, M., May, R. and Cuomo, C., 2016. Microevolutionary traits and comparative population genomics of the emerging pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus gattii. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 371 (1709).

Henk, D. A. and Vilgalys, R., 2016. Genetic structure within Septobasidium colonies suggests outcrossing and frequent non-self-fusion. Fungal Genomics and Biology, 6 (2), p. 143.

Browne, A. G., Fisher, M. C. and Henk, D. A., 2013. Species-specific PCR to describe local-scale distributions of four cryptic species in the Penicillium chrysogenum complex. Fungal Ecology, 6 (5), pp. 419-429.

Voelz, K., Ma, H., Phadke, S., Byrnes, E. J., Zhu, P., Mueller, O., Farrer, R. A., Henk, D. A., Lewit, Y., Hsueh, Y.-P., Fisher, M. C., Idnurm, A., Heitman, J. and May, R. C., 2013. Transmission of hypervirulence traits via sexual reproduction within and between lineages of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii. Plos Genetics, 9 (9), e1003771.

Farrer, R. A., Henk, D. A., MacLean, D., Studholme, D. J. and Fisher, M. C., 2013. Using false discovery rates to benchmark SNP-callers in next-generation sequencing projects. Scientific Reports, 3, 1512.

Henk, D. A., Shahar-Golan, R., Devi, K.R., Boyce, K.J., Zhan, N., Fedorova, N.D., Nierman, W.C., Hsueh, P.R., Yuen, K.Y., Sieu, T.P.M., Van Kinh, N., Wertheim, H., Baker, S. G., Day, J. N., Vanittanakom, N., Bignell, E. M., Andrianopoulos, A. and Fisher, M. C., 2012. Clonality despite sex: the evolution of host-associated sexual neighborhoods in the pathogenic fungus penicillium marneffei. PLoS Pathogens, 8 (10), e1002851.

Fisher, M. C. and Henk, D. A., 2012. Sex, drugs and recombination: the wild life of Aspergillus:News and views: Perspective. Molecular Ecology, 21 (6), pp. 1305-1306.

Henk, D. A. and Fisher, M. C., 2012. The gut fungus Basidiobolus ranarum has a large genome and different copy numbers of putatively functionally redundant elongation factor genes. PLoS ONE, 7 (2), e31268.

Fisher, M.C., Henk, D.A., Briggs, C.J., Brownstein, J.S., Madoff, L.C., McCraw, S.L. and Gurr, S.J., 2012. Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health. Nature, 484 (7393), pp. 186-194.

Farrer, R. A., Weinert, L. A., Bielby, J., Garner, T. W. J., Balloux, F., Clare, F., Bosch, J., Cunningham, A. A., Weldon, C., Du Preez, L. H., Anderson, L., Pond, S. L. K., Shahar-golan, R., Henk, D. A. and Fisher, M. C., 2011. Multiple emergences of genetically diverse amphibian-infecting chytrids include a globalized hypervirulent recombinant lineage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108 (46), pp. 18732-18736.

Henk, D. A., Eagle, C. E., Brown, K., Van Den Berg, M. A., Dyer, P. S., Peterson, S. W. and Fisher, M. C., 2011. Speciation despite globally overlapping distributions in Penicillium chrysogenum: the population genetics of Alexander Fleming’s lucky fungus. Molecular Ecology, 20 (20), pp. 4288-4301.

Henk, D. A. and Fisher, M. C., 2011. Genetic diversity, recombination, and divergence in animal associated Penicillium dipodomyis. PLoS ONE, 6 (8), e22883.

Henk, D., Farr, D.F. and Aime, M.C., 2011. Mycodiplosis (Diptera) infestation of rust fungi is frequent, wide spread and possibly host specific. Fungal Ecology, 4 (4), pp. 284-289.

Meece, J. K., Anderson, J. L., Fisher, M. C., Henk, D. A., Sloss, B. L. and Reed, K. D., 2011. Population Genetic Structure of Clinical and Environmental Isolates of Blastomyces dermatitidis, Based on 27 Polymorphic Microsatellite Markers. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77 (15), pp. 5123-5131.

Cao, C., Liang, L., Wang, W., Luo, H., Huang, S., Liu, D., Xu, J., Henk, D. A. and Fisher, M. C., 2011. Common Reservoirs for Penicillium marneffei Infection in Humans and Rodents, China. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 17 (2), pp. 209-214.

Simwami, S. P., Khayhan, K., Henk, D. A., Aanensen, D. M., Boekhout, T., Hagen, F., Brouwer, A. E., Harrison, T. S., Donnelly, C. A. and Fisher, M. C., 2011. Low Diversity Cryptococcus neoformans Variety grubii Multilocus Sequence Types from Thailand Are Consistent with an Ancestral African Origin. PLoS Pathogens, 7 (4), e1001343.

Walker, S. F., Bosch, J., Gomez, V., Garner, T. W. J., Cunningham, A. A., Schmeller, D. S., Ninyerola, M., Henk, D. A., Ginestet, C., Arthur, C.-p. and Fisher, M. C., 2010. Factors driving pathogenicity vs. prevalence of amphibian panzootic chytridiomycosis in Iberia. Ecology Letters, 13 (3), pp. 372-382.

Henk, D. and Aime, C. M., 2008. Evolution of mating pheromone and receptor genes in Pucciniomycotina. Inoculum, 59 (2), p. 19.

This list was generated on Wed Aug 16 16:08:40 2017 IST.

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