Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43618

Dr Olin Silander Evolutionary Biology

Senior Lecturer in Genetics

Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

My research focuses on microbial evolution. Current projects include:

  • How gene expression noise evolves
  • How E. coli responds to and learns from environmental signals
  • How behavioural responses in E. coli evolve


Contact details

  • Ph: +64 (0)9 414 0800 ext. 43618
    Location: Building 20
    Campus: Albany


  • PhD - University of California, San Diego (2005)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

  • Evolution
  • E. coli
  • Transcription

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Biological Sciences (060000): Evolutionary Biology (060300): Genetics (060400): Microbial Genetics (060503): Microbiology (060500): Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics (060411)


  • Evolution
  • Escherichia coli
  • Transcription
  • Genomics

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 1

Research Outputs


Kaiser, M., Jug, F., Julou, T., Deshpande, S., Pfohl, T., Silander, OK., . . . van Nimwegen, E. (2016). Tracking single-cell gene regulation in dynamically controlled environments using an integrated microfluidic and computational setup. : bioRxiv
[Internet publication]Authored by: Silander, O.
Freed, NE., Bumann, D., & Silander, OK. (2016). Combining Shigella Tn-seq data with gold-standard E. coli gene deletion data suggests rare transitions between essential and non-essential gene functionality. BMC Microbiology. 16(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Freed, N., Silander, O.
Wolf, L., Silander, OK., & van Nimwegen, E. (2015). Expression noise facilitates the evolution of gene regulation. eLife. 4(JUNE)
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Blank, D., Wolf, L., Ackermann, M., & Silander, OK. (2014). The predictability of molecular evolution during functional innovation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111(8), 3044-3049
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Bertels, F., Silander, OK., Pachkov, M., Rainey, PB., & Van Nimwegen, E. (2014). Automated reconstruction of whole-genome phylogenies from short-sequence reads. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 31(5), 1077-1088
[Journal article]Authored by: Rainey, P., Silander, O.
Hofsteenge, N., Van Nimwegen, E., & Silander, OK. (2013). Quantitative analysis of persister fractions suggests different mechanisms of formation among environmental isolates of E. coli. BMC Microbiology. 13(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Silander, OK., Nikolic, N., Zaslaver, A., Bren, A., Kikoin, I., Alon, U., . . . Ackermann, M. (2012). A genome-wide analysis of promoter-mediated phenotypic noise in Escherichia coli. PLoS Genetics. 8(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Bergmiller, T., Ackermann, M., & Silander, OK. (2012). Patterns of evolutionary conservation of essential genes correlate with their compensability. PLoS Genetics. 8(6)
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Seddik, R., Jungblut, SP., Silander, OK., Rajalu, M., Fritzius, T., Besseyrias, V., . . . Bettler, B. (2012). Opposite effects of KCTD subunit domains on GABA<inf>B</inf> receptor-mediated desensitization. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287(47), 39869-39877
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
O'Keefe, KJ., Silander, OK., McCreery, H., Weinreich, DM., Wright, KM., Chao, L., . . . Turner, PE. (2010). Geographic differences in sexual reassortment in RNA phage. Evolution. 64(10), 3010-3023
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Silander, OK., & Ackermann, M. (2009). The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders. BMC Research Notes. 2
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Hendricks, M., Mathuru, AS., Wang, H., Silander, O., Kee, MZL., & Jesuthasan, S. (2008). Disruption of Esrom and Ryk identifies the roof plate boundary as an intermediate target for commissure formation. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 37(2), 271-283
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Freed, NE., Silander, OK., Stecher, B., Böhm, A., Hardt, WD., & Ackermann, M. (2008). A simple screen to identify promoters conferring high levels of phenotypic noise. PLoS Genetics. 4(12)
[Journal article]Authored by: Freed, N., Silander, O.
Tenaillon, O., Silander, OK., Uzan, JP., & Chao, L. (2007). Quantifying organismal complexity using a population genetic approach. PLoS ONE. 2(2)
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Kouyos, RD., Silander, OK., & Bonhoeffer, S. (2007). Epistasis between deleterious mutations and the evolution of recombination. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 22(6), 308-315
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Silander, OK., Tenaillon, O., & Chao, L. (2007). Understanding the evolutionary fate of finite populations: The dynamics of mutational effects. PLoS Biology. 5(4), 922-931
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Silander, OK., Weinreich, DM., Wright, KM., O'Keefe, KJ., Rang, CU., Turner, PE., . . . Chao, L. (2005). Widespread genetic exchange among terrestrial bacteriophages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 102(52), 19009-19014
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Morra, M., Simarro-Grande, M., Martin, M., Chen, ASI., Lanyi, A., Silander, O., . . . Terhorst, C. (2001). Characterization of SH2D1A Missense Mutations Identified in X-linked Lymphoproliferative Disease Patients. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 276(39), 36809-36816
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.
Morra, M., Silander, O., Calpe, S., Choi, M., Oettgen, H., Myers, L., . . . Terhorst, C. (2001). Alterations of the X-linked lymphoproliferative disease gene SH2D1A in common variable immunodeficiency syndrome. Blood. 98(5), 1321-1325
[Journal article]Authored by: Silander, O.


Silander, O., Bumann, D., & Freed, NE. (2015). Combining Tn-seq with comparative genomics identifies proteins uniquely essential in Shigella flexneri. Poster session presented at the meeting of Queenstown Research Week Computational Genomics
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Freed, N., Silander, O.
Silander, OK., Wolf, L., & van Nimwegen, E. (2014, May). Selection on transcriptional noise promotes the evolution of novel gene regulation. Presented at Stochastic Biology Meeting. Vienna, Austria.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Silander, O.
Silander, OK., Kaiser, M., Deshpande, S., Pfohl, T., & van Nimwegen, E. (2013). The Use of Microfluidic Devices to Understand How Transcriptional to External Stimuli Evolve in Natural Isolates of E. Coli. Poster session presented at the meeting of BAGECO 2013
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Silander, O.
Silander, ., Blank, D., & Wolf, L. (2013, January). The Molecular Mechanisms of Functional Innovation in E. coli. Presented at LS2 Meeting. Zurich, Switzerland.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Silander, O.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
CoSupervisor 3 0


  • Genetics and Evolution 203.341
  • Evolutionary Biology 196.217

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

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