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.