February 13 2017

11:00 158 HH

Karen Sears
Department of Animal Biology
School of Integrative Biology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Developmental basis of mammalian evolution


Evolution is the filtering of development by ecology (Van Valen 1973, Marshall 1995). However, while the role of ecology in the selection of the fittest has a rich and productive history of study, the role of development in the generation of the fittest remains much less well known. The primary research goals of the Sears Lab are to determine how development has evolved to generate new morphologies, and the degree to which the nature of development itself biases morphological evolution. To pursue these goals, the lab integrates study across biological fields and temporal scales, from study of genetic processes within individuals to paleontological study of events occurring within lineages over millennia. In this talk, Dr. Sears will highlight ongoing lab research on the mammalian limb that utilizes this integrative approach, and discuss the insights into the role of development in the generation of the fittest that this research has generated. Dr. Sears will also touch on current and future research on the evolution of the mammalian middle ear and dental and sensory adaptations of bats.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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