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. 

lab website: https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/edge/

 



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

MicroRNA clusters integrate evolutionary constraints on expression and target affinities Zhe Qu, Wing Chung Yiu, Ho Yin Yip, Wenyan Nong, Clare W.C. Yu, Ivy H.T. Lee, Annette Y.P. Wong, Nicola W.Y. Wong, Fiona K.M. Cheung, Ting Fung Chan, Kwok Fai Lau, Silin Zhong, Ka Hou Chu, Stephen S. Tobe, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, William G. Bendena, Jerome H.L. Hui
Molecular Biology and Evolution 2020 vol. 37 pp. 2955-2965
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
More than one-to-four via 2R David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Molecular Biology and Evolution 2020 vol. 37 pp. 2966-2982
Reconstruction of ancient homeobox gene linkages inferred from a new high-quality assembly of the Hong Kong oyster (Magallana hongkongensis) genome Yiqian Li, Wenyan Nong, Tobias Baril, Ho Yin Yip, Thomas Swale, Alexander Hayward, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Jerome Hui
BMC Genomics 2020 vol. 21