Paul Kersey

Paul Kersey
Team Leader, Non-vertebrate Genomics

Paul Kersey leads the Non-vertebrate Genomics team, which provides services related to the genomes of bacteria, protists, fungi, plants and animals, mainly utilising the Ensembl software platform. The team maintains the Ensembl Genomes resource, which operates as a series of collaborations with community-focused groups in individual domains. Major collaborative efforts include VectorBase (for invertebrate vectors of human pathogens), WormBase (for nematodse), Gramene (for plants) and PhytoPath (for plant pathogens). We also contribute to major European infrastructure projects including ELIXIR and INFRAVEC.  Previously we have coordinated the Microme and transPLANT projects.

Paul received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1995 and has been at EMBL since 1999, working on a variety of resources for completely sequenced genomes (and their corresponding proteins) including UniProt, GOA, Integr8, and IPI, prior to the launch of Ensembl Genomes in 2009.

PhD University of Edinburgh 1992. Postdoctoral work at University of Edinburgh and MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh. At EMBL-EBI since 1999.

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7054-800X

Tel:+44 (0)1223 494 601 / Fax:

Kersey team

The Non-vertebrate Genomics team, led by Dr Paul Kersey, develops Ensembl Genomes and related resources. Ensembl Genomes provides portals for bacteria, protists, fungi, plants and invertebrate metazoa, offering access to genome-scale data through a set of programmatic and interactive interfaces, exploiting developments originating in the vertebrate-focused Ensembl project.

Our major areas of interest include broad-range comparative genomics and the visualisation and interpretation of genomic variation, which is being increasingly studied in species throughout the taxonomy. Even small communities with little informatics infrastructure can now perform highly complex and data generative experiments that were once the sole domain of large, internationally coordinated sequencing projects. Through collaborating with EMBL-EBI and re-using our established toolset, such small communities can store, analyse and disseminate data more cheaply and powerfully than if they develop their own tools.

The team is also heavily involved in the ELIXIR European Life Science Data Infrastructure project, with involvement in data standards (for plant genomics and phenomics), portable infrastructure, marine model systems, and bacterial metabolism.


The team is part of various international consortia including VectorBase, a resource focused on the annotation of invertebrate vectors; WormBase, a resource for nematode biology; and PhytoPath, a resource for fungal and oomycete plant pathogens.  We work closely with the Gramene database to maintain a joint dataset for plant. We are currently working on the annotation and assembly of the genomes and transcriptomes of various species including the biting midge, salmon louse, cassava whitefly, and several marine microorganisms, in partnership with various global collaborators.

Fellowship opportunities

Combined experimental/computational fellowships: ESPODs

Our group is recruiting postdoctoral fellows through the joint EMBL-EBI–Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute ESPOD programme. ESPOD fellowships are for researchers who take both an experimental and computational approach to their work.



Team members

  • Matthieu Barba
  • Dan Bolser
  • Lahcen Campbell
  • Manuel Carbajo Martinez
  • Mikkel Christensen
  • Paul Davis
  • Nishadi De Silva
  • Kevin Howe
  • Tuan Le
  • Gareth Maslen
  • Guy Naamati
  • Michael Paulini
  • Helder Pedro
  • Matthew Russell
  • Kelly Walsh
  • Gareth Williams