David Mark Welch
Senior Scientist and Director, Bay Paul Center
Dr. David Mark Welch is an evolutionary biologist with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology. His research spans processes of metazoan genome evolution to how rare and unknown microbes shape ecosystems, and is united by an overarching interest is the molecular mechanisms by which natural selection and evolutionary history create biological diversity. The focus of his lab’s current research area is the novel antioxidant and DNA repair pathways of bdelloid rotifers. Through collaborations with other scientists at the JBPC, Mark Welch extends his exploration of biological diversity to the realm of microbes. He led the development of the bioinformatics tools necessary to analyze the first massively-parallel tag sequence datasets that demonstrated the existence of a “rare biosphere” of microbial taxa and leads the teams developing the Visualization and Analysis of Microbial Population Structures project. He co chairs (with Cathy Pfister at UChicago) The Microbiome Center, an intellectual home for researchers across the University of Chicago, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory to advance understanding of the identity and function of microbes. As Director of the Bay Paul Center he also oversees development of bioinformatic resources for the Encyclopedia of Life.
Mika, K., A.S. Okamoto, N.H. Shubin, and D.B. Mark Welch. 2021. Bacterial community dynamics during embryonic development of the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea). Anim. Microbiome. 3:72. PMCID: PMC8513177
Stelzer C.-P., J. Blommaert, A.M. Waldvogel, M. Pichler, and D.B. Mark Welch. 2021. Comparative analysis reveals within-population genome size variation in a rotifer is driven by large genomic elements with highly abundant satellite DNA repeat elements. BMC Biol. 19:206. PMCID: PMC8447722
Yu E., T. Yoshinaga, F. L. Jalufka, H. Ehsan, D. B. Mark Welch, and G. Kaneko. 2021. The complex evolution of the metazoan HSP70 gene family. Sci. Rep. 11:17794.PMCID: PMC8423806
Cavicchioli, R., W.J. Ripple, K.N. Timmis, F. Azam, L.R. Bakken, et al. 2019. “Scientists’ warning to humanity: microorganisms and climate change.” Nat. Rev. Microbiol. doi:10.1038/s41579-019-0222-5. PMID: 31213707
Blommaert, J., S. Riss, B. Hecox-Lea, D.B. Mark Welch, and C.P. Stelzer. 2019. Small, but surprisingly repetitive genomes: transposon expansion and not polyploidy has driven a doubling in genome size in a metazoan species complex. BMC Genomics 20: 466. doi:10.1186/s12864-019-5859-y PMC6555955
Gribble, K.E., B.M. Moran, S. Jones, E.L. Corey, and D.B. Mark Welch. 2018. Congeneric variability in lifespan extension and onset of senescence suggest active regulation of aging in response to low temperature.” Experimental Gerontology 114: 99–106. doi:10.1016/J.EXGER.2018.10.023.
Hecox-Lea, BJ and DB. Mark Welch. 2018. Evolutionary diversity and novelty of DNA repair genes in asexual bdelloid rotifers. BMC Genomics 18:177. doi:10.1186/s12862-018-1288-9 PMCID: PMC6264785