Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Honorary Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 1932d.henk




VC9 Ground FloorMedical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





I work on fungal ecology and evolution in Dr. Mat Fisher's lab. As we described in a recent Nature review, fungi are emerging as a surprising threat to biodiversity and human welfare. However, fungi also form the core symbioses that support terrestrial ecosystems. I am particularly interested in using evolutionary biology approaches to understand how some fungi invade new niches, expand geographic distributions, and adapt to heterogeneous environments. Understanding the constraints and mechanisms fungi exploit to escape them will enable us to act to prevent disease emergence and promote rehabilitation efforts where the fungal communities must be resstablished.

This is a short film clip about some of our work on Penicillium diversity.

With support from the CEE I am currently collaborating with researchers from the Natural History Museum and Kew on developing these bioresources for next-gen genomic sequencing analysis.



Henk DA, Shahar-Golan R, Devi KR, et al., 2012, Clonality Despite Sex: The Evolution of Host-Associated Sexual Neighborhoods in the Pathogenic Fungus Penicillium marneffei, Plos Pathogens, Vol:8, ISSN:1553-7366

Voelz K, Johnston SA, Farrer RA, et al., 2012, Diverse genetic adaptation to host-specific stresses mediates hypervirulence in Cryptococcus gattii, Mycoses, Vol:55, ISSN:0933-7407, Pages:64-64

Fisher MC, Henk DA, 2012, Sex, drugs and recombination: the wild life of Aspergillus, Vol:21, ISSN:1365-294X, Pages:1305-1306

Fisher MC, Henk DA, Briggs C, et al., 2012, Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health., Nature, Pages:186-194

Henk DA, Fisher MC, 2012, The gut fungus Basidiobolus ranarum has a large genome and different copy numbers of putatively functionally redundant elongation factor genes, Vol:7, ISSN:1932-6203

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