Our research comprises three major areas of interest: (i) biodiversity and morphological evolution of fishes; (ii) comparative dental development and regeneration; and (iii) evolutionary developmental biology.
We study the development of dental diversity across a range of vertebrates. Our lab questions how varieties of teeth are patterned and modified across species, how they form, and how they are replaced for continued production, specifically in fishes. Fishes account for more than half of all extant vertebrates and in addition have an immense diversity of dental form. The models that we study vary vastly from initial dental patterning and tooth number, to the capacity for dental regeneration with a diverse array of tooth replacement modes. This comparative context provides a framework in which to understand the complexities of dental diversity at the genetic level.
Our broad research focus is the genetic basis of developmental mechanisms that regulate vertebrate craniofacial patterning and evolution. By coupling evolutionary and developmental genetic disciplines with more translational biosciences we aim to break down the complexities of morphological development, diversity and regeneration of the craniofacial skeleton, and in particular the dentition.