Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Mark Farmer

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Research Interests:

The origin and evolution of eukaryotic cells is one of the most exciting yet poorly understood phenomena in all of cell biology. Using gene phylogenies combined with techniques such as electron microscopy and confocal microscopy my research focuses on the structural similarities between protists (protozoa, algae, zoosporic fungi) and how these relate to the evolution and diversification of eukaryotes.

Presently my research is centered on identifying and understanding the basic cell biology of those protists that may provide insights into the nature of the ancestor of all present-day eukaryotes. One result of this work has been to challenge long held beliefs about the relationships between various parasitic protozoa (trypanosomes, trichomonads, Giardia etc.) and free living protists. We are also examining the multiple ways in which protists utilize their cilia for functions other than microtubule sliding based locomotion. Chemosensing, photosensing, mechanosensing, and cell gliding are all functions of protist cilia that may have played an important in cliary origins and evolution. These findings will help not only in our understanding of parasitic organisms but more importantly they will help us to understand some of the basic cellular processes of eukaryotic cells.

Events featuring Mark Farmer
MLC North Tower (3rd Floor East Wing)

Join Dr. Mark Farmer, Footprint@UGA, and the UGA community for his talk, “How to Talk to Your Uncle About Climate Change.”

“How to Talk to Your Uncle About Climate Change”

A Speaker Series Event Featuring Dr. Mark Farmer

Join us on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7 pm Location: MLC North Tower (3rd Floor East Wing)

Articles Featuring Mark Farmer

A recent Scientific American blog entry by Division Chair Mark Farmer titled Power Plants

Support our Department

Your contributions keep us going! There are numerous ways to give. You can donate or attend our events.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty. 

Undergraduate Research in Biology

Undergraduates majoring in biology have the opportunity to enhance their learning through direct participation in research and scholarship. At UGA, these opportunities enable undergraduates to participate in ground-breaking research, often as part of a team of graduate students and faculty. In fact, many students can earn academic credit while working under an experienced faculty mentor by taking BIOL 4960R or working directly with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO). The Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship (BSURF) has been established to support undergraduate research opportunities in the Division of Biological Sciences within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The Fellowship provides financial assistance to a student who has not had an opportunity to participate in a mentored research experience (paid, volunteer, or for credit) since matriculating to The University of Georgia.