• Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
  • M.S., University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • B.S., University of North Carolina, Wilmington


  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Genes, Genomes, and Genomics
  • Transcriptomics, Proteomics, and Metabolomics
  • Bioinformatics Capstone
  • Special Topics in Bioinformatics

Research Interests

  • Metabarcoding of aquatic communities
  • Up- or down-regulation of genes related to activity in bloom species


Erika Schwarz Taylor, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Bioinformatics Specialist at St. Mary’s University. She earned a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Marine Biology from University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Her master’s research focused on designing species-specific molecular probes to identify and quantify harmful algal species along the East Coast. These probes are used by NOAA, state agencies, and academic institutions to rapidly detect harmful algae in water bodies so that the public can be notified to avoid the area and any food products, oysters for example, that may have been harvested from the area.

After earning her master’s, Schwarz Taylor went on to earn a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from University of Texas at Austin where her research focused on chloroplast and mitochondrial genome evolution in legumes. During this work she gained next generation sequencing and bioinformatics skills that can be applied to any field, especially the molecular ecology field as it pertains to ecosystem health, in general.


Bilinski, T.M., Haynes, R.D., Schwarz Taylor, E.N., Scobell, S. Improving the Accessibility of General Biology through Application-Based Semester-Long Group Project. In prep.

Choi, I-S., Schwarz, E.N., Ruhlman, T.A, Khiyami, M.A., Sabir, J.S.M., Hajarah, N.H., Sabir, M.J., Rabah, S.O. Jansen, R.K. 2019. Fluctuations in Fabaceae mitochondrial genome size and content are both ancient and recent. BMC Plant Biology. 19:448.

Schwarz, E.N., Ruhlman, T.A., Weng, M.-L., Khiyami, M.A., Sabir, J.S.M., Hajarah, N.H., Alharbi, N.S., Rabah, S.O., and Jansen, R.K. 2017. Plastome-wide nucleotide substitution rates reveal accelerated rates in Papilionoideae and correlations with genome features across legume subfamilies. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 84(4):187-203.

Dugas, DV, Hernandez, D., Koenen, E., Schwarz, E., Straub S., Hughes, CE., Jansen, RK., Nageswara-Rao, M., Staats, M., Trujillo, J., Hajrah, NH., Alharbi, NS., Al-Malki, AL., Sabir, JSM., Bailey, CD. 2015. Mimosoid legume plastome evolution: IR expansion, tandem repeat expansions, and accelerated rate of evolution in clpP. Scientific Reports. 5:16958.

Schwarz, E.N., Ruhlman, T., Sabir, JSM., Hajrah, NH., Alharbi, NS., Al-Malki, AL., Bailey, CD and Jansen, R.K. 2015. Plastid genomes reveal parallel inversions and multiple losses of rps16 in papilionoids. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 53(5): 458-468.

Bahieldin, A., Al-Kordy, M., Shokry, M., Gadalla, N., Al-Hejin, A., Sabir, J., Al-Ahmadi, A., Schwarz, E., El-Domyati, F. and Jansen, R. 2014. Short communication: corrected sequence of the wheat plastid genome. C R Biologies 337: 727-731.

Sabir, J., Schwarz, E. N., Ellison, N., Zhang, J., Baeshen, N.A., Mutwakil, M., Jansen, R. and Ruhlman, T. 2014. Evolutionary and biotechnology implications of plastid genome variation in the IR loss clade of legumes. Plant Biotechnology Journal 12: 743-754.

Borkman, D.G., Smayda, T.J., Schwarz, E.N., Flewelling, L.J. and Tomas, C.R. 2014. Recurrent vernal presence of the toxic Alexandrium tamarense/Alexandrium fundyense (Dinoflagellata) species complex in Narragansett Bay, USA. Harmful Algae. 32:73-80.

Back to top