Welcome to


Universal taxonomic framework and integrated reference gene databases
for Eukaryotic biology, ecology, and evolution

Register to be kept informed about UniEuk activities and participate in the curation of the taxonomic framework

Our taxonomy curation platform EukMap has been launched and can be accessed at https://eukmap.unieuk.net. The platform hosts the latest version of the UniEuk taxonomy. Feedback regarding the taxonomy, currently,  can be provided by raising issues in our GitHub contributions repository or by providing “pull requests”. Detailed documentation can found in our contributions wiki.

UniEuk at a glance


UniEuk is an open, inclusive, community-based and expert-driven international initiative to build a flexible, adaptive universal taxonomic framework for eukaryotes.

It comprises three complementary modules, EukRef, EukBank, and EukMap, to unite community knowledge and data from phylogenetic markers and environmental metabarcoding surveys to inform the taxonomic framework.

The resulting UniEuk taxonomy is regularly implemented at EMBL-EBI and NCBI, ensuring its long-term preservation and broad use as a reference taxonomy for eukaryotes.

UniEuk: Naming Life’s Majority

UniEuk is a community-based project to achieve a universal taxonomic framework for eukaryotes, focused primarily on protists, integrating information from relevant genetic markers and classical morphology-based data, and validated by a comprehensive network of taxonomy experts. UniEuk will integrate phylogenetically-informed reference databases of genetic markers with reference alignments and trees, based on the standardized curation process of the 18SEukRef initiative. The system’s broad use and long-term preservation will be ensured by a direct implementation into the INSDC genetic data repositories via their EMBL-EBI node.

Guiding Principles

We are an open and inclusive, community-based, expert-driven initiative. We apply a transparent decision-making process that requires compromise and consensus-building. Our efforts incorporate DNA sequence phylogeny, morphological information (images), and other relevant data to build a robust, yet flexible and integrative working taxonomy of eukaryotes for the benefit of the broader community.

Primary Objectives
  • Build consensus on an open, editable and evolvable, eukaryotic taxonomic framework via international community workshops and an interactive online system.
  • Optimize the shared taxonomic map by taking into account relevant sequence comparisons and morphological information for expert-defined taxonomic groups.
  • Use the resulting taxonomy to inform major scientific databases (of genetic markers, images, etc.) and make it available to INSDC and other stakeholders, including basic educational textbooks, schools, and museums.
The 32 participants of the UniEuk kick-off meeting - MNHN, Jardin des Plantes, Paris, May 2016
Partner Institutions
Project Funders