Ben Jenkins

My research theme is endosymbiosis – more specifically, I want to understand the RNA and protein factors that influence the fate of an endosymbiotic interaction. I work with the single-celled endosymbiotic ciliate, Paramecium bursaria, and use a combination of functional genomics, RNA-interference mediated gene knock-down, RNA sequencing, and proteomics to answer these questions. At present, I am developing a protocol of high-throughput RNAi knock-down that will allow us to identify the host genes that maintain the interaction between P. bursaria and its algal endosymbiont.

Selected Publications

  • Emergent RNA-RNA interactions can promote stability in a nascent phototrophic endosymbiosis. Jenkins et al. (in prep)
  • Symbiosis: Wolf Lichens Harbour a Choir of Fungi. Jenkins and Richards, 2019, Current Biology.

Hobbies & Interets

I enjoy walking, cycling, or swimming, and can run when needed. Outside of these Herculean physical pursuits, you can find me with a beer or book in hand.