Reader in Geology

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The main focus of my research is the relationship between development and evolution, and the origin of major groups of animals. In particular, I am interested in the role of palaeontology within the synthesis of evolutionary developmental biology, which addresses the relationship between evolution at the level of the gene, embryo and adult.

I am a member of the editorial boards of the journals Evolution & Development, Lethaia, Palaeontology, Organisms, Diversity & Evolution, and the Transactions of the Royal Society of Ediinburgh: Earth Sciences. I also serve as member of the NERC peer review college.

I recently completed a NESTA Fellowship which funded a sabbatical in Robert Kelsh's lab at the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, where I explored the role of key transcription factors implicated in skeletogenesis in the development of the skeleton in lampreys, sharks, and the Zebrafish. Funding from NESTA and a Philip Leverhulme Trust also facilitated the establishment of molecular facilities in my laboratory in Bristol.