Eric Linton
Department of Biology
Bioinformatics, Molecular Systematics & Phylogenetics, Phycology, Eukaryotic Microbiology
Biosciences 3401

Dr. Linton is a professor of Biology at Central Michigan University


  • B.S., University of Akron, 1988
  • M.S., University of Akron, 1993
  • Ph.D., Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 2000
  • Postdoc., the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, 2000-2002
  • Postdoc., Michigan State University, 2002-2006

Teaching Areas

  • Introductory Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • Light Microscopy
  • Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy

Research Fields

  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Systematics and Phylogenetics
  • Phycology
  • Eukaryotic Microbiology
  • Toxic Cyanobacteria

Current Research Projects

  • Combining phylogenetic techniques (Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood) with comparative genome (collinearity) data, to study the evolutionary relationships of algae/eukaryotic microbes, with a special focus on the Euglenophyta. My past research has involved the sequencing, annotation and comparisons of the chloroplast genomes of several euglenoids. As the chloroplast of photosynthetic euglenoids was gained by secondary endosymbiosis (ingestion of a green eukaryotic algae) billions of years ago, it offers a direct view into the development of ancient eukaryotic life. Currently, my work is collaborative and involves identification of new species and genera of toxic cyanobacteria using a combination of molecular systematics, light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy.
  • Software development for molecular (gene, genome, and collinearity) data analysis emphasizing evolutionary relationships. This software called MacGDE (Macintosh Genetic Data Environment) is an integrative program for DNA/RNA and protein management, alignment and phylogenetic analyses. I maintain, support (technical and theoretical) and freely distribute to the research community (
  • Bioinformatic collaborations outside of my main research areas. My efforts here have led to work with colleagues in areas as diverse as viral invasion of grasses, the evolution of wood feeding in bivalves, and the use of wavelets (mathematical signal processing) for DNA assembly, alignment and annotation.

Research is currently being conducted in my lab to describe pollen grain diversity across the Brassicaceae. Trends in pollen evolution will be examined relative to recent advances in phylogenetic reconstruction and tribal classifications within the family. Pollen morphological data from scanning electron and light microscopy will be used to examine pollen evolutionary patterns and correlated floral evolution across the Brassicaceae.


  • Zimba, P. V., Huang, I-S., Chiu, A. S. Foley, J. E., Linton, E. W. 2017. Identification of a New-To-Science Cyanobacterium, Toxifilum mysidocida Gen. Nov. & Sp. Nov. (Cyanobacteria, Cyanophyceae). J Phycol. 53: 188­197.
  • Kim J. I., Linton, E. W., Shin, W. 2016. Morphological and genetic diversity of Euglena desesgroup (Euglenophyceae) with emphasis on cryptic species. Algae. 31(3): 219–230.
  • Kasiborski, B. A., Bennett, M. S., Linton, E. W. 2016. The Chloroplast Genome of Phacus orbicularis (Euglenophyta): An Initial Datum Point for the Phacaceae. J Phycol. 52(3): 404-411.
  • Daniel L. Distel, Mehwish Amin, Adam Burgoyne, Eric Linton, Gustaf Mamangkey, Wendy Morrill, John Nove, Nicole Wood, and Joyce Yang. 2011. Molecular phylogeny of Pholadoidea Lamarck, 1809 supports a single origin for wood feeding (xylotrophy) and xylotrophic bacterial endosymbiosis in Bivalvia. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 61(2): 245-254.
  • Eric Linton, and En-Bing Lin. 2011. Wavelet Packet Analysis of DNA Sequences. 5th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE 2011). May 10-12, Wuhan, China.
  • Linton, E. W., Karnkowska, A., Jong, K. I., Ciugulea, I., Shin, W., Bennett, M., Kwiatowski, J., Zakrys, B. and Triemer, R. E. 2010. Reconstructing Euglenoid Evolutionary Relationships using Three Genes: Nuclear SSU and LSU, and Chloroplast SSU Sequences and the description of Euglenaria gen. nov . (Euglenophyta). Protist. 161(4): 603-619.
  • Malmstrom, C. M., Shu, R., Linton, E. W. Newton, L. A. and Cook, M. A. 2007. Barley Yellow Dwarf Viruses (BYDVS) Preserved in Herbarium Specimens Illuminate Historical Disease Ecology of Invasive and Native Grassland Species. J. Ecol. 95(6): 1153-1166.
  • International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP). 2005. The map-based sequence of the rich genome. Nature. 436: 793-800.