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Benjamin Dickins

Ben Dickins

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr Dickins is a Lecturer in the School of Science and Technology with teaching responsibilities in molecular biology, biochemistry and evolution.

Career overview

Dr Dickins' background in molecular genetics traces to his PhD in which he examined the postnatal phenotypic consequences of disrupting imprinted gene function in mammals. For his postdoc, Dr Dickins extended his expertise and made use of next-generation sequencing technologies (NGS). Exploiting the fact that NGS are parallel sequencing technologies, he used the Illumina™ platform to track shifts in polymorphism occurring during experimental evolution in a bacteriophage. In subsequent work he used a similar approach to examine the inheritance of mitochondrial heteroplasmy in human families.

Dr Ben Dickins' Website

Research areas

Dr Dickins is establishing a programme of work based around two questions:

  • What factors affect the evolution of mutation rate?
  • What are the effects of mutation rate variation within and between populations and individuals?

To pursue these interests he is establishing projects in the lab (with phage) and at the computer terminal (with bacterial and viral sequences).

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research in the School of Science and Technology exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

Dr Dickins is an ordinary member of the Society for the Study of Evolution (USA).


Selected publications

Open peer commentary

  • Is genomics bad for you? Target article: Behavior genetics and post-genomics Dickins BJA,  Charney E, Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 2012, 35 (5), 364-5


  • Deep sequencing reveals persistence of intra- and inter-host genetic diversity in natural and greenhouse populations of Zucchini yellow mosaic virus. Simmons HE, Dunham JP, Stack JC, Dickins BJA, Pagán I, Holmes EC, Stephenson AG,  Journal of General Virology, 2012, 93 (8), 1831-40
  • NISC comparative sequencing program. Revealing evolutionary relationships in gene clusters. Song G, Riemer C, Dickins BJA, Kim HL, Zhang L, Zhang Y, Hsu C-H, Hardison R C, Green in (ed) Miller W, Genome Biology and Evolution, 2012, 4(4), 586-601
  • Dynamics of mitochondrial heteroplasmy in three families investigated via a repeatable re-sequencing study. Goto H*, Dickins B*, Afgan E, Paul IM, Taylor J, Makova KD and Nekrutenko A, Genome Biology, 2011, 12 (6), R59 (*equally contributing authors)
  • High- resolution mapping of evolutionary trajectories in a phage. Dickins B and Nekrutenko A, Genome Biology and Evolution, 2009, 1 (1), 294-307
  • Wheels within wheels: clues to the evolution of the Gnas and Gnal loci. Wadhawan S, Dickins B, Nekrutenko A, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2008, 25 (12), 2745-57

Book chapter

  • Evolution of imprinting: Imprinted gene function in human disease. Dickins BJA & Kelsey G, Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, 2008, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd, Chichester
  • Imprinted genes, postnatal adaptations and enduring effects on energy homeostasis. Frontera M, Dickins B, Plagge T, Kelsey G in ed Wilkins J, Genomic Imprinting, 2007, Austin TX, Landes Bioscience

See all of Benjamin Dickins's publications...

Press expertise

  • (Small genome) genomics
  • Mutation
  • Experimental evolution