We are interested in the mechanisms underlying biological diversification at both the organismal level and the molecular level. We would like to know (as would many) how new traits arise and how genetic variation maps to phenotypic variation.

Before this can be attempted, we need a road map to give us an indication of which kinds of organisms/ molecules gave rise to which an evolutionary tree of relationships. We use phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence comparisons to estimate evolutionary relationships among different entities.


We work with vertebrates. The lab is not restricted to any particular group, but a major project in the lab involves reconstructing the evolutionary tree for sharks and rays based on DNA sequence comparisons. We have focused on sharks because
(1) they exhibit a diverse range of traits
(2) they have an excellent fossil record.

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Florida State University School of Computational Science / Department of Biological Science
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Last modified: Aug. 14, 2006

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