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Dr Sebastian Eves-van den Akker

BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, Head of Group
Dr Sebastian Eves-van den Akker
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EA
Office Phone: 01223 748969


Sebastian studied Biology at the University of Leeds as an undergraduate from 2007 to 2010. During his final year project in the lab of Prof. P. E. Urwin, Sebastian became interested in plant-pathology, and the fascinating and potentially useful abilities of plant-parasitic nematodes. From 2010 to 2014, Sebastian studied for a PhD in plant-nematode “effectors”, jointly appointed between the University of Leeds and The James Hutton Institute and under the supervision of Prof. P. E. Urwin and Prof. J. T. Jones respectively.

In 2015, Sebastian was awarded a 3 year BBSRC Anniversary Future Leaders Fellowship. In collaboration with Prof P. R. J. Birch at the University of Dundee and Prof M. J. Banfield at the John Innes Centre, this fellowship was designed to understand the structural and molecular detail of nematode effector function.

During his Anniversary Future Leaders Fellowship, Sebastian made a discovery that provided a first tangible insight into the regulatory processes underlying plant-nematode parasitism, ultimately leading to the award of a 5 year BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship in 2018. With this second fellowship, Sebastian established a research group at the University of Cambridge and was elected Fellow of King's College.

Sebastian Eves-van den Akker is accepting applications for PhD students and research fellowships (e.g. EMBO, Marie Curie, Discovery, etc.). Please get in contact for an informal chat before submitting an application.

Key Publications

Google Scholar.

  • C. J. Lilley, A. Maqbool, D. Wu, H. B. Yusup, L. M. Jones, P. R. J. Birch, M. J. Banfield, P. E. Urwin, and S. Eves-van den Akker. (2018). Effector gene birth in plant parasitic nematodes: neofunctionalization of a housekeeping glutathione synthetase gene. PLOS Genetics – in press.
  • S. Eves-van den Akker* and P. R. J. Birch (2016). Opening the effector protein toolbox for plant-parasitic cyst-nematode interactions. Molecular Plant. DOI: 10.1016/j.molp.2016.09.008.
  • S. Eves-van den Akker* and D.R. Laetsch, P. Thorpe, C. J. Lilley, E. G. J. Danchin, M. Da Rocha, C. Rancurel, E. Grenier, J. Montarry, N. E. Holroyd, J. A. Cotton, B. Mimee, M. Duceppe, I. Boyes, J. Lapalme,  M. Esquibet, M. Sabeh, M. Rott, H. Overmars, A. Tomczak, G. Smant, V. Blok, S. Mantelin, P. J. A. Cock, W. Phillips, J. Marvin, L. M Jones, H. B. Yusup, P. E. Urwin, M. Blaxter, J. T. Jones. (2016) The genomic and transcriptomic bases of pathogenicity in the golden potato cyst nematode, Globodera rostochiensis. – Genome biology.  DOI: 10.1186/s13059-016-0985-1.

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.