College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

Charles Delwiche

Charles Delwiche

Professor (and Affiliate of Department of Biology and CBCB)


Office Phone: 301-405-8300
Fax: (301) 314-9082

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • BISI - BISI-Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)
  • BISI - BISI-Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics (CBBG)
  • BISI - BISI-Molecular & Cellular Biology (MOCB)

Research Interests

We study early events in the evolution of plants, particularly the endosymbiotic origin of plastids (chloroplasts), and the origin of land plants (i.e., embryophytes) from green algae, using molecular systematic and genomic methods -- an approach that is now sometimes called phylogenomics." We combine modern molecular methods, including gene and genome sequencing, computer analysis, and a variety of instrumental methods, with more classical methods and field work. By comparing the properties of living organisms we can gain insight into their common ancestors. In our work on the evolution of chloroplasts we have primarily concentrated on dinoflagellates, but have also worked on haptophytes and heterokonts. Our work on the origin of land plants primarily emphasizes the Charophyte Green Algae (also called Streptophytes).

Recent Publications

  • Sanchez-Puerta, M. V., J. C. Lippmeier, K. E. Apt, and C. F. Delwiche. 2007. Plastid genes in a non-photosynthetic dinoflagellate. Protist 158:105-117.
  • Delwiche, C. F. 2007. Algae in the warp and weave of life: bound by plastids. Pp. In Press in J. Brodie, and J. Lewis, eds. Unraveling the Algae: The Past, Present, and Future of Algal Systematics. Taylor and Francis Group LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Delwiche, C. F. 2007. The origin and evolution of dinoflagellates. Pp. In press in P. G. Falkowski, and A. H. Knoll, eds. Evolution of Primary Producers of the Sea. Elsevier, New York, NY.
  • Johnson, M. D., D. Oldach, C. F. Delwiche, and D. K. Stoecker. 2007. Retention of transcriptionally active cryptophyte nuclei by the ciliate Myrionecta rubra. Nature 445:426-428. (A collaboration, the primary work was done in the Stoecker lab)


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1990. Plant molecular systematics and plastid evolution.