Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences




+44 (0)20 7594 5227m.barkoulas




607Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





We use Caenorhabditis elegans and related nematodes as model systems to study the relationship between genotype and developmental phenotypes.  Our aim is to understand how genetic networks, that is, the entire set of functional linkages between genes and their regulatory modules, encode developmental phenotypes, and how these networks are modified in different environments or become subject to evolutionary change via natural selection. We are particularly interested in understanding what makes developmental networks robust, so they continue producing consistent end results (i.e. phenotypes) in the presence of genetic or environmental perturbations. We would like to identify mechanisms that ensure developmental stability, study how these mechanisms evolve and address their evolutionary significance and consequences for a given system and organism. 

To answer our questions we use C. elegans techniques ranging from RNAi and transgenesis to single molecule imaging and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.

I did my PhD and first Post-doc at the University of Oxford, working on plant developmental genetics. In 2009, I moved to the Félix lab at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where I worked on C. elegans developmental robustness. 

If you are interested in joining the lab, either as a student (undergraduate, MSc, Ph.D) or Post-doc, please get in touch. 


Post-doc positions are now available !! For more info check the following links:







Barkoulas M, Velazquez AMV, Peluffo AE, et al., 2016, Evolution of New cis-Regulatory Motifs Required for Cell-Specific Gene Expression in Caenorhabditis, Plos Genetics, Vol:12, ISSN:1553-7404

Boukhibar LM, Barkoulas M, 2016, The developmental genetics of biological robustness, Annals of Botany, Vol:117, ISSN:0305-7364, Pages:699-707

Grimbert S, Tietze K, Barkoulas M, et al., 2016, Anchor cell signaling and vulval precursor cell positioning establish a reproducible spatial context during C. elegans vulval induction, Developmental Biology, Vol:416, ISSN:0012-1606, Pages:123-135

Felix M-A, Barkoulas M, 2015, Pervasive robustness in biological systems, Nature Reviews Genetics, Vol:16, ISSN:1471-0056, Pages:483-496

Matus DQ, Lohmer LL, Kelley LC, et al., 2015, Invasive Cell Fate Requires G1 Cell-Cycle Arrest and Histone Deacetylase-Mediated Changes in Gene Expression, Developmental Cell, Vol:35, ISSN:1534-5807, Pages:162-174

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