Robert DeSalle

Curator, Molecular Systematics

Principal Investigator, Institute for Comparative Genomics

Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

A photo of Museum curator Rob DeSalle, facing the camera.


  • Washington University, Ph.D, 1984
  • University of Chicago, B.A., 1976

Research Interests

Dr. DeSalle works in molecular systematics, microbial evolution, and genomics. His current research concerns the development of bioinformatic tools to handle large-scale genomics problems using phylogenetic systematic approaches. Dr. DeSalle has worked closely with colleagues from Cold Spring Harbor Labs, New York University, and the New York Botanical Garden on seed plant genomics and development of tools to establish gene family membership on a genome- wide scale.

His group also focuses on microbial genomics, taxonomy, and systematics. In particular, they approach tree-of-life questions concerning microbial life using whole genome information. He also dabbles in Drosophila systematics.


Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology and Center for Comparative Functional Genomics, NYU
  • Adjunct Professor, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior, CUNY
  • Yale University, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, 1986–1991

Courses Taught

  • Evolution (co-professor), Richard Gilder Graduate School, 2009–present
  • Molecular and Genome Evolution, Richard Gilder Graduate School, 2009-present
  • Introduction to Biology, Undergraduate level, NYU: 2004–2005
  • Molecular Mechanisms—Animals, Graduate level, NYU: 2004–2005
  • Bioinformatics, Graduate level, NYU: 2004–2005
  • Introduction to Evolution, Graduate level, NYU: 2004–2005
  • Evolution, Graduate level, Columbia University: 2004–2005
  • Evolution and Journalism, Graduate level, Columbia University: 2004–2005

Graduate Advisees

30 students advised since 1998; recent students include:

  • Sergios Kolokotronis, Columbia University
  • Angelica Cibrian, Columbia University
  • Chanda Bennett, Columbia University
  • Francsica Almeida, NYU
  • Anthony Deo, NYU
  • Sam Crane, CUNY

Graduate Committees

Served on 50 committees since 1999; recent committees include:

  • Zach Baldwin, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Ed Stanley, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Sebastian Kvist, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Dawn Roje, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Sergios Kolokotronis, Columbia University
  • Angelica Cibrian, Columbia University
  • Kevin Olival, Columbia University
  • Ryan Kelly, Columbia University
  • Anthony Deo, NYU
  • Craig Starger, Columbia University