Etienne Leveille-Bourret

Etienne Leveille-Bourret


Tel.: +41 (0)44 634 84 15

Research interests

My postdoctoral research with Prof. Elena Conti aims to elucidate the interaction between genome architecture and the origin of new phenotypes. I am specifically interested in the evolution of heterostyly in Primulaceae, a floral polymorphism where individuals within a population differ reciprocally in the position of their sexual organs. Heterostyly is genetically controlled by a supergene (S-locus) containing several linked genes inherited as a single unit.

Some key questions are:

  1. What were the evolutionary steps in the genomic assembly of the S-locus?
  2. Were there independent origins of the S-locus in different heterostylous lineages of Primulaceae?
  3. Are heterostyly supergenes degenerating like non-recombining sex chromosomes?

These questions are being answered by de novo genome assembly and comparative genomic analysis of species representing all heterostylous genera of Primulaceae (Primula, Hottonia, Androsace).


Postdoctoral researcher, September 2018 – Present
University of Zürich, Switzerland. “Origin of the heterostyly supergene (S-locus) in Primulaceae”
Advisor: Elena Conti

Ph.D. in Systematic botany, 2013 – 2018
University of Ottawa, Canada. “Evolution and classification of the Cariceae-Dulichieae-Scirpeae clade (Cyperaceae)”
Advisor: Julian Starr

B.Sc. in Biology, 2010 – 2013
University of Montréal, Canada.