Dr Sebastian Shimeld

Research Interests

Research at the interface of Evolutionary and Developmental Biology has seen a major Renaissance in recent years, fuelled by the development of molecular methods applicable to a wide range of organisms and by the rapidly-expanding potential of comparative genomics as more and more genomes are sequenced.

Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding major transitions in animal evolution and the origins of animal morphological diversity. This includes studies at several levels of biological organisation, from anatomy, embryology and developmental biology to genes, genome organisation and molecular evolution. A principal aim is to determine how the evolution of genes and their organisation underlies the evolution of new morphological features.

Within this broad theme several different projects are currently underway in my laboratory involving a wide range of study organisms, from sponges, molluscs and worms to sea squirts, lampreys and dogfish.

Selected Publications

Patthey, C., Schlosser, G. and Shimeld, S,M. (2014). The evolutionary history of vertebrate cranial placodes-I: Cell type evolution. Dev. Biol389: 82-97

Chen, W.-C., Pauls, S., Elgar, G. Bacha, J., Loose, M. and Shimeld, S.M. (2014) Dissection of a Ciona regulatory element reveals complexity of cross-species enhancer activity. Dev. Biol. 390, 261-272.

Shimeld, S.M. and Donoghue, P.J. (2012) Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: cyclostomes (lamprey and hagfish). Development 139: 2091-2099.

Doglio, L,. Goode, D.K., Pelleri, M.C., Pauls, S., Frabetti, F., Shimeld, S.M., Vavouri, T., Elgar, G. (2013). Parallel Evolution of Chordate Cis-Regulatory Code for Development. PLOS Genetics DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003904.

Thompson, H., Shaw, M.K., Dawe, H. and Shimeld, S.M. (2012). The formation and positioning of cilia in Ciona intestinalis embryos in relation to the generation and evolution of chordate left-right asymmetry. Dev. Biol. 364: 214-223.

Shimeld, S.M.,  Boyle, M.J., Brunet, T., Luke, G.N. and Seaver, E.C. (2010). Clustered Fox genes in lophotrochozoans and the evolution of the bilaterian Fox gene cluster. Dev. Biol. 240: 234-248.

Larroux, C., Luke, G.N., Koopman, P., Rokhsar, D.S., Shimeld, S.M. and Degnan, B.M. (2008). Genesis and expansion of metazoan transcription factor gene classes Mol Biol Evol 25:980-96.

Shimeld, S.M., Purkiss, A.G., Dirks, R.P.H., Bateman, O.A, Slingsby, C. and Lubsen, N.H. (2005). Urochordate ßγ-crystallin and the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate eye lens. Current Biology, 15: 1684-1689.

List of site pages