Principal investigator


Marc Tollis

Ph.D. (City University of New York)

Assistant Professor, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University (faculty profile)

Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Tollis uses molecular and computational methods to understand the history of life and genomic mechanisms of evolution across vertebrates and has been a major contributor to the growing field of reptilian comparative genomics. Dr. Tollis is also a leader in the effort to study the evolution of large body size and longevity across mammals (including in elephants and whales) and how it relates to cancer suppression.

Undergraduate Students

Payton Smith (Biology) - squamate phylogenomics

Joshua Wingert (Biomedical Sciences) - transposable elements in turtles

Amanda McDonald (Biomedical Sciences) - tumor suppressor gene evolution and cancer gene functional analysis in cetaceans

Jolten Larremore (Biology) - tumor suppressor gene evolution across amniotes

Danielle Lambert - tumor suppressor gene evolution and cancer gene functional analysis in mammals

We Want People! Join the Tollis Lab @ NAU

We are actively recruiting undergraduate and graduate students (and postdocs) to conduct research in the lab. Projects range from elephant and whale population genomics, transposable element evolution, cancer evolution, ancient DNA, museum curation, and molecular evolution in reptiles. These projects offer an opportunity to better understand biodiversity and the origins of human disease, and training in valuable skills in bioinformatics and high-throughput next-generation sequence data analysis for careers in many sectors.

The lab will offer stipend support to qualified undergraduate and graduate candidates. Undergraduate students can pursue a B.S. in Informatics with a bioinformatics emphasis. Graduate students would join the Ph.D. program in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems or the M.S. Program in Informatics and earn a valuable degree in informatics while focusing on bioinformatics and molecular evolution in the lab. Our school includes distinguished faculty in eco- and environmental informatics as well as health and bioinformatics. If you are a postdoctoral candidate, we can apply for funding using a variety of mechanisms.

Professor Tollis is affiliated with the Department of Biology at NAU, which adds another layer of collaborative opportunities - including the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Dr. Tollis has the ability to co-mentor biology students and stand on thesis committees as well.

Come live and work here! Flagstaff, AZ has been rated one of the happiest cities in America, with four seasons, year-round recreation, terrific college vibe, and a laid-back attitude. We are close to the Phoenix metropolitan area, but even closer to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, and are surrounded by mountainous national forest.

If interested, email Dr. Marc Tollis at



If you would like to join the lab, fill out the form below and we will get back to you.

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