Department of Biological Sciences

Dodge Hall Rm 375
118 Library Dr
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3550
fax: (248) 370-4225

Taras K Oleksyk

Headshot of Taras Oleksyk

Taras K Oleksyk
Assistant Professor, Ph.D.
367 DH
(248) 370-3359
Lab location: 368 DH
Lab phone: (248) 370-3359

OU Genomics Website


  • BIO 3340  Evolutionary Biology
  • BIO 4342/5382  Topics in Evolutionary Biology
  • BIO 6995  Graduate Research

My research interests are in evolution, comparative genomics, environmental toxicology, and genetic epidemiology. My background is in genomics, specifically as it relates to adaptation, speciation and disease. My scientific interests are in two general areas. The first is in genomics and admixture of human populations. My lab is involved in several studies focusing on human population genetics and the analysis of the candidate disease genes in the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. My other interest is in evolution and conservation of endangered species in the Caribbean. I am involved in studies focusing on genome assembly and analysis; selection scans (Amazon parrots, Hispaniolan solenodons, African cheetah and elephants). Generally, I am interested in the study of genome diversity and its implications to evolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation.

Selected Publications:

Kolchanova, S., Kliver, S., Komissarov, A., Dobrinin, P., Tamazian, G., Grigorev, K., Wolfsberger, W.W., Majeske, A.J., Velez-Valentın, Valentın de la Rosa, R., Paul-Murphy, J.R., Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, D., Court, M.H., Rodriguez-Flores, J.L., Martínez-Cruzado, J.C., and T.K. Oleksyk. (2019). Genomes of three closely related Caribbean Amazons provide insight for species history and conservation. Genes 10(1):54.

Diaz-Zabala, H.J., Ortiz, A.P., Garland, L., Jones, K., Perez, C.M., Mora, E., Arroyo, N., Oleksyk, T.K., Echenique, M., Matta, J.L., Dean, M., and J. Dutil. (2018). A recurrent BRCA2 mutation explains the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome cases in Puerto Rico. Cancers E419.

Grigorev, K., Kliver, S., Dobrynin, P., Komissarov, A.,   Wolfsberger, W., Krasheninnikova, K., Yashira M Afanador-Hernández, Y.M., Paulino, L.A., Carreras, R., Rodríguez, L.E., Núñez, A., Silva, F., Hernández-Martich, D., Majeske, A.J, Antunes, A., Roca, A.L., O'Brien, S.J., Martinez-Cruzado, J.C., and T.K. Oleksyk. (2018). Innovative assembly strategy contributes to the understanding of evolution and conservation genetics of the critically endangered Solenodon paradoxus from the island of Hispaniola. GigaScience 7(6):giy025.

Cosme, S.; Cuevas, H.E.; Zhang, D.; Oleksyk, T.K., and B. Irish. (2016). Genetic diversity of naturalized cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) in Puerto Rico. Tree Genetics & Genomes 12:88.

Dobrynin, P., Liu, S., Tamazian, G., Xiong, Z., Yurchenko, A., Krasheninnikova, K., Kliver, S., Koepfli, K.P., Johnson, W., Kuderna, L., García-Pérez., L. de Manuel Montero, M., Godinez, R., Makunin, A., Komissarov, A., Brukhin, V., Qiu, W., Zhou, L., Li, F., Jian, J., Driscoll, C., Antunes, A., Oleksyk, T.K., Eizirik, E., Perelman, P., Roelke, M., Wildt, D., Diekhans, M., Marques-Bonet, T., Schmidt-Küntzel, A., Marker, L., Bhak, J., Wang, J., Zhang, G., and S..J. O’Brien. (2015). Genomic legacy of the African cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus. Genome Biology 16 (1): 1-20.

Oleksyk, T.K., Brukhin, V., and O’Brien, S.J. (2015). Putting Russia on the genome map. Science 350 (6262):747.

Oleksyk, T.K., Brukhin, V., and O’Brien, S.J. (2015). The Genome Russia project: closing the largest remaining omission on the world Genome map. GigaScience 4:53.

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium. (2015). A global reference for human genetic variation. Nature 526: 68–74.

Guiblet, W.M., Zhao, K., O’Brien, S.J., Massey S., Roca, A.L. and T.K. Oleksyk. (2015). SmileFinder: a resampling-based platform to evaluate signatures of selection from genome-wide sets of matching allele frequency data between populations. GigaScience 4:1.

Afanador, Y., Velez-Valentín, J. Valentín de la Rosa, R., Martínez-Cruzado, J.C., vonHoldt, B., and T. K. Oleksyk. (2014). Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata). Conservation Genetics Resources 6(4):885–889

Gravel, S., Zakharia, F., Byrnes, J.K., Muzzio, M., Moreno-Estrada, A. Rodriguez-Flores, A.L., Kenny, E.E., Gignoux, C.R., Maples, B.K., Guiblet, W.G., Dutil, J., Sandoval, K., Bedoya, G., The 1000 Genomes Project, Oleksyk, T.K., Ruiz-Linares, A., Burchard, E.G., Martinez-Cruzado, J.C., and Bustamante, C.D. (2013). Reconstructing Native American migrations from whole-genome and whole-exome data. PLoS Genetics 9(12) e1004023.

Díaz-Lameiro, A.M., Oleksyk, T.K., Bird-Picó, F.J., and J.C. Martínez-Cruzado. (2013). Colonization of islands in the Mona Passage by endemic dwarf geckoes (genus Sphaerodactylus) reconstructed with mitochondrial phylogeny. Ecology and Evolution 3(13):4488-500.

Oleksyk, T.K., Pombert, J.F., Siu, D., Mazo-Vargas, A., Ramos, B., Guiblet, W., Afanador, Y., Ruiz-Rodriguez, C.T., Nickerson, M.L., Logue, D., Figueroa, L., and J.C. Martinez-Cruzado. (2012). A locally funded Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) genome sequencing project increases avian data and advances young researcher education. GigaScience 1:14

Zhao, K., Ishida, Y., Oleksyk, T.K., Winkler, C.A., and A.L Roca. (2012). Evidence for selection at HIV host susceptibility genes in a West Central African human population. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:237.

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium. (2012). An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes. Nature 491:56-65.