Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Research Fellow in Evolutionary Genetics



+44 (0)20 7594 2381v.koufopanou




W3.2Silwood ParkSilwood Park






My research is in evolutionary and population genetics, using the yeasts as a model system to study:

  • genome evolution
  • evolution and domestication of selfish genetic elements
  • horizontal transfer of genes
  • species diversity and phylogenetics

Selected Publications

  • Tsai I.J., A. Burt and V. Koufopanou (2010) Conservation of recombination hotspots in yeast. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:7847-7852 (doi)
  • Tsai, I. J., D. Bensasson, A. Burt and V. Koufopanou (2008) Population genomics of a wild yeast: quantifying the life cycle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:4957-4962 (doi)
  • Bensasson, D., M. Zarowiecki, A. Burt and V. Koufopanou (2008). Rapid evolution of yeast centromeres in the absence of drive. Genetics Vol:178, Pages:2161-2167(doi)
  • Koufopanou, V. J. Hughes, G. Bell and A. Burt (2006). The spatial scale of genetic differentiation in a model organism: the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London B 361:1941-1946 (doi)
  • Koufopanou, V. and A. Burt (2005). Degeneration and domestication of a selfish gene in yeast: molecular evolution versus site-directed mutagenesis. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22: 1535-1538 (doi)
  • Burt, A. and V. Koufopanou (2004). Homing endonuclease genes: the rise and fall and rise again of a selfish element. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 14: 609-615 (doi)
  • Johnson, L. J., V. Koufopanou, et al. (2004). Population genetics of the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus. Genetics 166: 43-52.
  • Leroi, A., V. Koufopanou, and A. Burt. (2003). Cancer selection. Nature Reviews, Cancer 3: 226-231 (doi)



Koufopanou V, 2020, Population size, sex and purifying selection: comparative genomics of two sister taxa of the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus, Genome Biology and Evolution, Vol:12, ISSN:1759-6653, Pages:1636-1645

Koufopanou V, Lomas S, Tsai IJ, et al., 2015, Estimating the fitness effects of new mutations in the wild yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus, Genome Biology and Evolution, Vol:7, ISSN:1759-6653, Pages:1887-1895

Harrison E, MacLean RC, Koufopanou V, et al., 2014, Sex drives intracellular conflict in yeast, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol:27, ISSN:1010-061X, Pages:1757-1763

Koufopanou V, Swire J, Lomas S, et al., 2013, Primers for fourteen protein-coding genes and the deep phylogeny of the true yeasts, Fems Yeast Research, Vol:13, ISSN:1567-1356, Pages:574-584

Harrison E, Koufopanou V, Burt A, et al., 2012, The cost of copy number in a selfish genetic element: the 2-mu M plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol:25, ISSN:1010-061X, Pages:2348-2356

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