Adrian Reyes-Prieto

Associate Professor



Bailey Hall 269

1 506 453 4578

Academic interests

  • Origin and evolution of photosynthetic organelles
  • Microbial and organelle comparative genomics
  • Evolutionary history of microbial eukaryotes (protists)

Brief biography

Adrian was born in Mexico City (1972) and got both his B.S. (Biology, 1997) and Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences, 2002) degrees at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, Mexico City). After finishing his graduate studies, Adrian spent two different postdoctoral periods at Mexico (UNAM, 2002-2005) and the U.S.A (University of Iowa/ Rutgers University, 2005-2009). He was hired by UNB in 2009 to take an Assistant Professor position created with the support of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to investigate microbial diversity. Adrian is Associate Professor since 2015.

The work of Adrian’s research group comprises the study of cellular and molecular processes associated to the evolutions of symbiotic associations. They are particularly interested in the genomic and metabolic mechanisms leading to the establishment of photosynthetic organelles (plastids, chloroplasts) via endosymbiosis. In this context, Adrian’s group investigates the basic biology and phylogenetic relationships of particular algal and protist lineages that can provide insights to better understand the evolution and diversification of plastids. The main tools used by Adrian’s team to answer those questions are basic microbiology and molecular biology, comparative genomics, bioinformatics and molecular phylogenetics. In recent years, Adrian has been collaborating with some colleagues of the Biology Department investigating bacterial and algal diversity in freshwater and coastal environments of New Brunswick.

Besides his research interests, Adrian has been a soccer player since he has memory and when the Summer comes, he spends some night hours with the Fredericton City Old Boys Soccer Club kicking the ball. Adrian has passion for cooking and tasting spicy food and he sees himself as a Mexican food truck chef after retirement.

Courses taught

  • BIOL4581. Eukaryotic Microbiology
  • BIOL2013. Evolutionary Genetics
  • BIOL2063. Biological Diversity
  • BIOL2018. Laboratory in Evolutionary Genetics

Selected research

Figueroa-Martinez F, Jackson C and Reyes-Prieto A. (2019). Plastid genomes from diverse glaucophyte genera reveal a largely conserved gene content and limited architectural diversity. Genome Biology and Evolution, 11: 174-188. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evy268

Figueroa-Martinez F, Nedelcu AM, Smith DR and Reyes-Prieto A. (2017). The plastid genome of Polytoma uvella is the largest known among colorless algae and plants and reflects contrasting evolutionary paths to nonphotosynthetic lifestyles. Plant Physiology, 173: 932-943. DOI: 10.1104/pp.16.01628

Figueroa‐Martinez F, Nedelcu AM, Smith DR and Reyes‐Prieto A. (2015). When the lights go out: the evolutionary fate of free‐living colorless green algae. New Phytologist, 206: 972-982. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13279

Jackson C and Reyes-Prieto A. (2014). The mitochondrial genomes of the glaucophytes Gloeochaete wittrockiana and Cyanoptyche gloeocystis: multilocus phylogenetics suggests a monophyletic Archaeplastida. Genome Biology and Evolution, 6: 2774-2785. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evu218

Chong J, Jackson C, Im Kim J, Yoon HS and Reyes-Prieto A. (2014). Molecular markers from different genomic compartments reveal cryptic diversity within glaucophyte species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 76: 181-188. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.03.019