Tom Bourguignon

Tom Bourguignon
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Biological Sciences (Free University of Brussels, ULB, 2010)
Master of Advanced Studies in Sciences (Free University of Brussels, ULB, 2006)
Master in Biological Sciences (Free University of Brussels, ULB, 2005)

I am an ecologist and evolutionary biologist with special interests in insects. I was born in Belgium and obtained my Ph.D. in 2010 from the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium. I then did three successive postdocs at the Hokkaido University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Sydney. I joined OIST in 2017 and established the Evolutionary Genomics Unit. My work makes extensive use of next-generation sequencing technologies to investigate the ecology and evolution of termites, cockroaches, and their microbes.

Professional Experience

  • Hokkaido University, Japan, 2010-2012
  • National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2012-1015
  • The University of Sydney, Australia, 2015-2017

Selected Publications

  • Kinjo Y.*, Lo N.* (*equal first authors), Villa-Martin P., Tokuda G., Pigolotti S. & Bourguignon T. (2021) Enhanced mutation rate, relaxed selection, and the ‘domino effect’ drive gene loss in Blattabacterium, a cockroach endosymbiont. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 38, 3820-3831.
  • Bourguignon T.*, Kinjo Y.* (*equal first authors), Villa-Martin P., Coleman N.V., Tang Q., Arab D.A., Wang Z., Tokuda G., Hongoh Y., Ohkuma M., Ho S.Y.W., Pigolotti S. & Lo N. (2020) Increased mutation rate is linked to genome reduction in prokaryotes. Current Biology, 30, 3848-3855.
  • Bucek A., Šobotník J., He S., Shi M., McMahon E.C., Holmes E.C., Roisin Y., Lo N. & Bourguignon T. (2019) Evolution of termite symbiosis informed by transcriptome-based phylogenies. Current Biology, 29, 3728-3734.
  • Bourguignon T.*, Lo N.* (*equal first authors), Dietrich C., Šobotník J., Sidek S., Roisin Y., Brune A. & Evans T.A. (2018) Rampant host-switching shaped the termite gut microbiome. Current Biology, 28, 649-654. This article has been recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field.
  • Bourguignon T.*, Qian T.* (*equal first authors), Ho S.Y.W., Juna F., Wang Z., Arab D.A., Cameron S.L., Walker J., Rentz D., Evans T.A., Lo N. (2018) Transoceanic and plate tectonics shaped global cockroach distributions: evidence from mitochondrial phylogenomics. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35, 970-983.
  • Bourguignon T., Lo N., Šobotník J., Ho S.Y.W., Iqbal N., Coissac E., Lee M., Jendryka M., Sillam-Dussès D., Křížková B., Roisin Y. & Evans T.A. (2017) Mitochondrial phylogenomics resolves the global spread of higher termites, ecosystem engineers of the tropics. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34, 589-597.
  • Šobotník J.*, Bourguignon T.* (*equal first authors), Hanus R., Demianová Z., Pytelková J., Mareš M., Foltýnová P., Preisler J., Cvačka J., Krasulová J. & Roisin Y. (2012) Explosive backpack in old termite workers. Science, 337, 436. Listed in the Top 10 ScienceNOWs of 2012, Science, 338, 1518.