Comparative and developmental evolutionary biology

Animal life originated and evolved in an aquatic environment. The comparative study of aquatic animals thus provides a fascinating resource to understand the origin of major animal organ systems found in terrestrial animals, including humans. Modern technologies such as next-generation sequencing, transgenesis, mutagenesis and advanced imaging techniques allow for the investigation of how genes direct development and morphology, thus generating knowledge that will translate to humans. We perform functional studies in zebrafish in a comparative approach; aiming to understand mechanisms underlying evolutionarily conserved, fundamental mechanisms. Our results could also lead to future scientific applications.

Research projects and collaborators:

  • Development and plasticity of skeletal tissues.
    Juriaan Metz – Animal Ecology and Physiology
  • Molecular etiology of craniofacial malformations using zebrafish models.
    Sophie Raterman, Juriaan Metz, Hans Von den Hoff, Frank Wagener Animal Ecology and Physiology; Orthodontics and Craniofacial Biology
  • Developmental programming in zebrafish.
    Ruud van den Bos, Gert Flik Animal Ecology and Physiology