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Professor Philip Donoghue

Molecular palaeobiology

My research is focused on the relationship between evolution and embryology, integrating living and fossil organisms, developmental biology, and knowledge of their evolutionary relationships, to provide an holistic understanding of major episodes in evolutionary history.

I have particular interest in the evolutionary emergence of vertebrates, and of ecdysozoans, but also in the evolutionary emergence of animals and plants more generally. This entails classical palaeobiology, but also molecular genetics – to calibrate the Tree of Life to time using molecular clock theory, and to determine the role of genetic regulators of development in effecting organismal-level evolutionary change.

My group has facilities for rock digestion, high-end computed tomography, animal culture facilities and a molecular laboratory for RNA and DNA library preparation, gene cloning, and in situ hybridisation.

Research keywords

  • embryology
  • fossil organisms
  • biology
  • palaeobiology
  • evolution
  • embryology
  • fossils
  • living organisms
  • fossil organisms
  • ecdysozoans
  • vertebrates