Marco Todesco

Assistant Professor



  • PhD in Plant Genetics, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany (2009)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany (2010-2012)
  • Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia (2013-2017)
  • Research Associate, University of British Columbia (2018-2022)

Research Area

Plants have developed an incredible variety of strategies to survive to the different challenges they encounter in nature – harsh climates, lack of nutrients, herbivores, etc. The goal of Dr. Marco Todesco’s research is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of this adaptive diversity: how it mediates the interactions between plants and their environment, what are the genes and genetic variants controlling it, and how it can contribute to producing crops that are more sustainable, more resilient, and more productive. The Todesco lab does this by using a combination of genomics, quantitative genetics, molecular biology, developmental and evolutionary biology, ecology and field experiments, working mostly on sunflower and its wild relatives, and on cannabis diversity.

Research Questions

  1. How do plants adapt to different environments, and what are the genetic basis of these adaptations?
  2. How can plant diversity be used to improve agricultural sustainability and productivity?
  3. What is the role of chromosomal structural variation in contributing to adaptation and domestication?

Research Keywords

Agriculture, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Biological imaging, Bioproducts, Biotechnology, Evolution, Food security, Gene editing, Genomics