Athanasia Tzika
+41 22 379 67 75

I graduated in June 2003 from the Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki, Greece (M.Sc. in Biology). I performed my PhD (October 2003-March 2008) at the University of Brussels (ULB) on conservation/population genetics and bioinformatics. I am now a Senior Lecturer at the LANE where I direct research projects focusing on: (i) the development of skin coloration in Squamates (snakes and lizards), with the corn snake and the leopard gecko as model species, (ii) the development of scales in Squamates, with a special focus on patterning mechanisms, and (iii) the development of mammalian spines, in particular the convergent evolution of spines in hedgehogs and tenrecs, two groups belonging to very divergent lineages (Eulipotyphla and Afrotheria) separated by 100 million years of evolution.

In short, my current research interests include genetics, bioinformatics, comparative geno-/transcripto-/proteo-mics ( as well as ‘Evolutionary Developmental biology’ (Evo-Devo).

Selected publications

  • Somitic positional information guides self-organized patterning of snake scales

    Athanasia C. Tzika, Asier Ullate-Agote, Szabolcs Zakany, Maya Kummrow, Michel C. Milinkovitch

    Science Advances 9, 24 (2023)

  • Genome mapping of a LYST mutation in corn snakes indicates that vertebrate chromatophore vesicles are lysosome-related organelles

    Asier Ullate-Agote, Ingrid Burgelin, Adrien Debry, Carine Langrez, Florent Montange, Rodrigue Peraldi, Jean Daraspe, Henrik Kaessmann, Michel C. Milinkovitch and Athanasia C. Tzika

    PNAS 117, 42: 26307-26317 (2020)

  • Reptilian Transcriptomes v2.0: An Extensive Resource for Sauropsida Genomics and Transcriptomics

    Tzika A.C., Ullate-Agote A., Grbic D., M. C. Milinkovitch

    Genome Biology Evolution 7, 6: 1827-1841 (2015)

  • Two waves of anisotropic growth generate enlarged follicles in the spiny mouse

    Sophie A Montandon, Athanasia C Tzika, António F Martins, Bastien Chopard and Michel C Milinkovitch

    EvoDevo 5, 33 (2014)

  • Escaping the Mouse Trap; the Selection of New Evo-Devo Model Species

    Milinkovitch M.C. & A. C. Tzika

    Journal of Experimental Zoology (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 308, 4: 337-346 (2007)