profile

Dr Dave Ferrier:
Reader in Biology and Deputy Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute



We aim to understand how the diversity of form in the animal kingdom evolved. The focus of our research is the connection between the evolution of animal genome organisation and development, with a particular concentration on the homeobox-containing genes. The Hox gene cluster is established as a corner-stone of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, but much about the evolution of its organisation and mode of operation remains unknown. Also the Hox cluster is not unique as a homeobox gene cluster controlling animal development, further clusters being the ParaHox and NK clusters, all of which evolved within larger arrays of homeobox genes (the Mega-cluster and Super-Hox cluster). We utilize a variety of organisms in our research (including amphioxus, sea squirts, polychaetes and priapulids), chosen from key points in the phylogeny of the animals to enable reconstruction of the ancestral conditions at major nodes in the animal kingdom; the origin of bilaterians, protostomes, deuterostomes, chordates and vertebrates. 

 



Research Overview. We aim to understand how the diversity of form in the animal kingdom evolved. The focus of our research is the connection between the evolution of animal genome organisation and development, with a particular concentration on the homeobox-containing genes. The Hox gene cluster is established as a corner-stone of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, but much about the evolution of its organisation and mode of operation remains unknown. Also the Hox cluster is not unique as a homeobox gene cluster controlling animal development, further clusters being the ParaHox and NK clusters, all of which evolved within larger arrays of homeobox genes (the Mega-cluster, Giga-cluster and Super-Hox cluster). We utilize a variety of organisms in our research (including amphioxus, sea squirts, polychaetes and priapulids), chosen from key points in the phylogeny of the animals to enable reconstruction of the ancestral conditions at major nodes in the animal kingdom; the origin of bilaterians, protostomes, deuterostomes, chordates and vertebrates, as well as the origin of the entire animal kingdom. Knowledge of such ancestors is vital in understanding subsequent diversification.

source: symbiosis


Recent Publications:

5 (of 82 /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/status/published available) for dekf (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

Molecular identification of potential aquaculture pathogens adherent to cnidarian zooplankton Morag Clinton, Christian Delannoy, Andrew Stuart Brierley, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Aquaculture 2020 vol. 518
Space and time in Hox/ParaHox gene cluster evolution. David Ellard Keith Ferrier
2019 pp. 245-258
Transcriptional regulation of the Ciona Gsx gene in the neural plate Clare Hudson, Rosaria Esposito, Antonio Palladino, Leopoldo Staiano, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Emmanuel Faure, Patrick Lemaire, Hitoyoshi Yasuo, Antonietta Spagnuolo
Developmental Biology 2019 vol. 448 pp. 88-100
Pax3/7 duplicated and diverged independently in amphioxus, the basal chordate lineage David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Ildiko Maureen Lara Somorjai
Scientific Reports 2018 vol. 8
A revised spiralian homeobox gene classification incorporating new polychaete transcriptomes reveals a diverse TALE class and a divergent Hox gene Ildiko Maureen Lara Somorjai, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Genome Biology and Evolution 2018 vol. 10 pp. 2151–2167