Linz, D.M., Moczek, A.P. Integrating evolutionarily novel horns within the deeply conserved insect head. BMC Biol 18, 41 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-020-00773-9
This study demonstrates how the adult insect head is patterned and suggests mechanisms capable of integrating novel traits within ancient trait complexes in a sex- and species-specific manner.
Casasa S, Zattara EE, Moczek AP 2020. Nutrition-responsive gene expression and the developmental evolution of insect polyphenism. Nature Ecology & Evolution
This study explore the transcriptional basis of polyphenic development and its evolution in three closely related species of horned beetles that exhibit strikingly diverse degrees of nutrition responsiveness in the development of male weaponry.
Our outreach initiative aims to create K12 resources in support of Indiana Science Teaching Standards, enhance diversity in STEM fields, and train the next generation of scientists in the development of impactful outreach efforts.
“To develop is to interact with the envionment.
To evolve is to alter these interactions in a heritable manner.”
Organisms and their form and function are the products of developmental processes operating in specific ecological conditions over evolutionary time. The nature of interactions between development (devo) and ecology (eco), and how these are shaped by, and are in turn shaping, evolutionary processes (evo), are the foci of Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology (eco evo devo) and the objectives of our research. In particular, our group is focused on understanding how novel complex traits originate and diversify in development and evolution, and how this process is channeled by ecological conditions. But we also study the reverse – once in existence we ask how novel complex traits feed back on ecological and evolutionary processes, such as range expansions or adaptive radiations. Specifically, we structure our exploration around what we consider eight interdependent dimensions of innovation of diversification:
We are a diverse group of scientists interested in understanding the origins of novel, complex traits in development and evolution.
Read more about the various projects underway in the lab, and our work towards understanding innovation in the natural world.
Find how to apply to join the lab, participate in our outreach programs, or contribute towards our research goals.