Full Name
David Mark Welch

Senior Scientist and Director, Bay Paul Center

David Mark Welch Headshot
Contact Information
Ph.D., Biochemistry, Harvard University, 1999
B.A., Biology, Earlham College, 1989
MBL Affiliations

Dr. David Mark Welch is an evolutionary biologist with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology.  His research spans the evolution of functional novelty in metazoan genomes to the role of microbial communities in the health of organisms and ecosystems, and is united by an overarching interest in how molecular biology and comparative evolution can contribute to global change solutions.  The focus of his lab’s current research is the novel antioxidant and DNA repair pathways of bdelloid rotifers and the potential of cyanobacteria to sequester carbon.  

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.  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. and also oversees development of bioinformatic resources for the Encyclopedia of Life.

David Mark Welch works with
Marko Horb Headshot
Senior Scientist and NXR Director
Bell Center
Selected Publications

Feng H., G. Bavister, K.E. Gribble, D.B. Mark Welch. 2023. Highly efficient CRISPR-mediated gene editing in a rotifer. PLOS Biology 21(7): e3001888. PMC10395877

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