About Fish Lab

The focus of research in “FishLab” is understanding the genetic basis of the evolution of novelty and diversity. Fishes are the most diverse vertebrate group, and as such, exhibit an amazing variety of body plan features and specialized modifications. We are particularly interested in a family of genes, called Hox genes, that specify body plan features.  These genes were duplicated in a subgroup of fishes called teleosts, and it has been widely speculated that their success, in terms of diversity and novelty, is associated with genome duplication. For example, the duplicated HoxA13 genes are associated with development of a novel feature, found only in zebrafish and their relatives, called the yolk sac extension. We are also interested in the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies in fishes such as bidirectional sex change in gobies, and multiple embryos per egg capsule in the sharks, skates, and rays.