Internal information for the Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab

MEEL Lab Meeting Oct 1 2020

Today’s Lunch meeting in MEEL, Nathalie gave a talk on her future project that have just received the funding from the prestigious ERC junior starting grant.

For the coming five years, she will set out to explain what are the processes and mechanisms behind the parallel evolution of the green colour morphs that happened in 6 species pairs among the European common wall lizards.

The key to understand the independent reoccurrence of this “green phenotype” lies in the development of neural crest cells. As lizards develop, the neural crest cells migrate to different parts of the body and specialises, influencing a suite of morphological and behavioural traits, traits that are largely responsible for the differences between the “normal” brown wall lizards and their green cousins.

Nathalie will intergrate comparative developmental biology, evolutionary genomics and experimental developmental biology to 1). identify candidate epigenetic and genetic markers that are implicated in the development of neural crest cells; and 2). use techniques like CRISPR to directly establish causal links between the candidate (epi)genetic markers and the phenotype.

Best of luck Nathalie and we are excited to follow your research!

October 2, 2020

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