Academic Staff

Dr Jordi Paps Course Director Biological Sciences (UG)

Staff positionLecturer
Telephone01206 876389

2015 to present - Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex.

2012 - Post-doctoral researcher, J.W. Jenkinson Laboratory for Evolution and Development. ERC Advanced project Genome Evolution in the Animal Kingdom (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford).

2010 - Post-doctoral fellow Beatriu de Pinós (Generalitat de Catalunya , Catalan Government, Spain). Project: Genome Biology and Evolution of the Animal Kingdom (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford).

2009 - Post-doctoral researcher. Project:Origins of animals and their closest relatives (Parc Científic de Barcelona, Spain).


PhD in Genetics (2008, Departament de Genètica, Universitat de Barcelona). Molecular phylogeny of Bilateria: a multigenic approach.

Diploma on Advanced Studies in Genetics (2003, equivalent to M.Sc., Departament de Genètica, Universitat de Barcelona). New molecular markers to solve metazoan phylogeny.

B.Sc. Biology (2001, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona)

Current research

Evolutionary genomics of the Animal Kingdom, exploring the genomic basis of biological adaptations

Research interests

   I am an evolutionary biologist fascinated by the causes that underlie the origins and diversity of the Animal Kingdom. I am interested in the evolution of animals, systematics, body plans and their genomes. My primary focuses are molecular phylogenetics and comparative genomics, mixing zoology (especially "invertebrates"), genetics, molecular biology, developmental biology, phylogeography and biodiversity.

   Some of the organisms I have worked on are multicellular animals (Metazoa), the Opisthokonta (eukaryote super-group including animals, fungi and choanoflagellates among other lesser known but important groups), the super-clade Lophotrochozoa, the Platyhelminthes (flatworms), the puzzling Acoelomorpha, the enigmatic Xenoturbella, the Gastrotricha, and the Pacific oyster.

Teaching responsibilities

BS113 Animal Behaviour and Ecology

BS102 Genetics and Evolution


   Google Scholar


   University of Essex articles repository


· Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo & Jordi Paps (2015). Acoelomorpha: earliest branching bilaterians or deuterostomes? Organisms Diversity & Evolution. DOI 10.1007/s13127-015-0239-1. Link.

· Gáspár Jékely, Jordi Paps, Claus Nielsen (2015). The phylogenetic position of ctenophores and the origin(s) of nervous systems. EvoDevo 6:1. Link.

· Nathan J. Kenny, Yung Wa Sin, Jordi Paps, Alexander Hayward, Ka Hou Chu, Jerome H.L. Hui (2015). The phylogenetic utility and functional constraint of microRNA flanking sequences. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1803). Link.

· John S. Scotti , Ivanhoe K.H. Leung , Wei Ge , Michael A. Bentley , Jordi Paps , Holger B. Kramer , WeiShen Aik , Hwanho Choi , Steinar M. Paulsen , Lesley A.H. Bowman , Nikita D. Loik , Shoichiro Horita , Chia-hua Ho , Nadia J Kershaw , Christoph M Tang , Timothy D.W. Claridge , Gail M Preston , Michael A McDonough , Christopher J. Schofield (2014). Human oxygen sensing has origins in prokaryotic EF-Tu prolyl-hydroxylation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111(37), 13331–13336. Link.

· Danielle A. Ludeman, Nathan Farrar, Ana Riesgo, Jordi Paps & Sally P. Leys (2014). Evolutionary origins of sensation in metazoans: functional evidence for a new sensory organ in sponges. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14 (1), 3. Link.

· Deniz F. Erezyilmaz, Alex Hayward, Yan Huang, Jordi Paps, Zoltan Acs, Juan A. Delgado, Francisco Collantes and Jeyaraney Kathirithamby (2014). Expression of the pupal determinant, broad during metamorphic and neotenic development of the strepsipteran, Xenos vesparum Rossi. PLoS One 9 (4), e93614. Link.

· Tsai et al. (Tapeworms Genome Consortium, 2013). The genomes of 4 tapeworms reveal adaptations to parasitism and new drug targets. Nature 496, 57–63. Link.

· Jordi Paps*, Luis A. Medina-Chacón, Wyth Marshall, Hiroshi Suga & Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo (2013). A molecular phylogeny of Apusozoa and Opisthokonts. Protist 164(1): 2–12. Link. * Corresponding author.

· Zhang et al (Pacific Oyster Consortium) (2012). The oyster genome reveals stress adaptation and complexity of shell formation. Nature 490: 49–54. Link.

· Cristina González-Estevez, Daniel Felix, Mathew Smith, Jordi Paps, Simon Morley, Victoria James, Tyson Sharp & A. Aziz Aboobaker (2012). SMG-1 Restricts Response to Injury and Growth through an Evolutionary Conserved Suppression Effect on mTOR Signaling. PLoS Genetics 8(3): e1002619. Link.

· Jordi Paps, Peter W.H. Holland, Sebastian M. Shimeld (2012). A genome-wide view of transcription factor gene diversity in chordate evolution: less gene loss in amphioxus? Briefings in Functional Genomics 11(2): 177-186. Link.

· Marta Riutort, Marta Álvarez-Presas, Eva Lázaro, Eduard Solà & Jordi Paps (2012). An up-to-date phylogenetic account of Platyhelminthes and the Tricladida, their place in the Animal Kingdom and their internal relationships. International Journal of Developmental Biology 56: 5-17. Link.

· Jordi Paps* & Marta Riutort (2012). Molecular Phylogeny of The Phylum Gastrotricha: New Data Brings Together Molecules And Morphology. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63: 208-212. Link. * Corresponding.

· Guifre Torruella, Romain Derelle,  Jordi Paps, B. Franz Lang, Andrew J. Roger, Kamram Shalchian-Tabrizi & Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo (2012). Phylogenetic relationships within the Opisthokonta based on phylogenomic analyses of conserved single copy protein domains. Molecular Biology and Evolution 29(2): 531-544. Link.

· Jordi Paps, Jaume Baguñà & Marta Riutort (2009). Bilaterian Phylogeny: A Broad Sampling of 13 Nuclear Genes Provides a New Lophotrochozoa Phylogeny and Supports The Ecdysozoan Nature of Chaetognatha. Molecular Biology and Evolution 26(10): 2397-2406. Link.

·  Jordi Paps, Jaume Baguñà & Marta Riutort (2009). Lophotrochozoa internal phylogeny: new insights from an up to date analysis of nuclear ribosomal genes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series B 276:1245-1254. Link.

· Jaume Baguñà, Pere Martínez, Jordi Paps & Marta Riutort (2008). Back in time: a new systematic proposal for the Bilateria. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, series B Biological Sciences. 363(1496): 1481-91. Link.

· Eva Jimenez-Guri, Jordi Paps, Jordi García-Fernandez & Emili Salò (2006). Hox and ParaHox genes in Nemertodermatida, a basal bilaterian clade. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 50(8): 675-679. Link.

· Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Jordi Paps, Mercè Loukota, Carles Ribera, Ulf Jondelius, Jaume Baguñà & Marta Riutort (2002). A phylogenetic analysis of myosin heavy chain type II sequences corroborates that Acoela and Nemertodermatida are basal bilaterians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 17: 11246-11251. Link.

· Jaume Baguñà, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Jordi Paps, Mercè Loukota, Carles Ribera, Ulf Jondelius & Marta Riutort (2001). The first bilaterian organisms: simple or complex? New molecular evidence. International Journal of Developmental Biology 45: S133-S134. Link.

   Book chapters and others

·  Marta Riutort, Jordi Paps & Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo (2014). Bilaterians: The Evolutionary Advantage of Being Two-Sided. In: The Tree of Life (ed. Pablo Vargas Gómez & Rafael Zardoya; Sinauer Associates Inc.). Link.

·  Ferdinand Marlétaz, Jordi Paps, Ignacio Maeso, P.W.H. Holland (2014). Discovery and classification of homeobox genes in genomes. Methods in Molecular Biology (ed. Yacine Graba & René Rezsohazy; Springer, Humana Press) 1196, 3-18. Link.

·  Marta Riutort, Jordi Paps & Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, (2012). Bilaterados. In: El Árbol de la Vida: sistemática y evolución de los seres vivos (ed. Pablo Vargas Gómez & Rafael Zardoya; Editorial Reverte).  Link.

·  Jordi Paps & Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo (2010): Animals and their unicellular ancestors. Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. Link.

·  Jordi Paps (2010). “El Jardiner Evolutiu” (The Evolutionary Gardener). Article published online as a prize directed to young scientists writing popularization articles to make their research reach society. Link.

· Jaume Baguñà, Pere Martinez, Jordi Paps & Marta Riutort (2008). Unravelling body plan and axial evolution in the Bilateria with molecular phylogenetic markers. In: Evolving Pathways: Key Themes in Evolutionary Developmental Biology (ed. Alessandro Minelli and Guiseppe Fusco; Cambridge University Press). Link.

· Jaume Baguñà, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Jordi Paps & Marta Riutort (2002). Origen y evolución de los ejes corporales y de la simetría bilateral en los animales. In: Evolución: la base de la Biología (M.Soler ed., Proyecto Sur de Ediciones, S.L.). Link.

· Jaume Baguñà, Salvador Carranza, Jordi Paps, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo & Marta Riutort (2000). Molecular taxonomy and phylogeny of Tricladida. Pag: 49-56. In: Interrelationships of the Platyhelminthes (Systematics Association Special Volumes). Eds. (D.T.J. Littlewood and R.A. Bray) Taylor & France, London. Link.


3rd International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology (ICIM 3, Berlin, August 2014). Linking genomes and the origin of morphological novelties: the origins of the Animal Kingdom.
Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics Symposium (EGGS) 2014 (Cambridge, March 2013). Exploring the origins and major transitions of the Animal Kingdom: a comparative genomics approach. Award to the best talk.
ICREA meeting on “The Origins of multicellularity“ (Barcelona, October 2013, link). Origins and Evolution of the Animal Kingdom: a genomic perspective.
II Iberian Congress of Biological Systematics (Barcelona, September 2013, link): Exploring the origins and major transitions of the Animal Kingdom with 21st century tools. Linking genomics and systematics.
Manchester Genome Evolution 2013 (MaGE, University of Manchester, UK, May 2013, link): Exploring the origins and major transitions of the Animal Kingdom with comparative genomics approach.
Invited talk (Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, February 2013, invited by Prof. Michael Siva-Jothy): The origins and major transitions of the Animal Kingdom, a comparative genomics approach.
Invited talk (Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, March 2012, invited by HoD Prof. Matthew Cobb): The origins and major transitions of the Animal Kingdom, a comparative genomics approach.
12th Young Systematics Forum (Natural History Museum of London, UK, Dec 2010, link). Evolution of animals’ closest relatives: a multigenic analysis unveils the phylogenetic positions of Apusozoa and the Opisthokonta incerta saedis.
Celebrating Darwin: From The Origin of Species to Deep Metazoan Phylogeny (Berlin, Germany, March 2009). Bilaterian phylogeny: a broad sampling of 13 nuclear genes provides a new Lophotrochozoa phylogeny and supports the Ecdysozoan nature of Chaetognatha.
VIII Jornades de Biologia Evolutiva (Barcelona, June 2008). Filogènia molecular dels bilaterals: una aproximació multigènica. Winner of the Antoni Prevosti Award to the best oral presentation.
1er Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Biología Evolutiva (Tarragona, Spain; September 2007). Filogenia molecular de los bilaterales: una aproximación multigénica.
9th Evolutionary Biology Meeting at Marseilles (France, September del 2005, link). Searching for new molecular markers for the phylogeny of the bilateria.
• IV Jornades de Biologia Evolutiva (Barcelona, June 2004). A la cerca de nous marcadors moleculars en la filogènia de Metazous.

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