by The Hall Lab (Web site) Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada
The themes of the columns, coming as they do from a lab. that investigates skeletal development and evolution, are how development biology informs palaeontology and vice versa. The aim is to initiate exchange/dialogue concerning these two disciplines, which were tightly integrated in the late 19th Century but which drifted apart in the 20th, only to come together again in the late 20th Century.
The interests of the lab. are quite diverse, although all impinge on skeletal development and evolution. We have ongoing studies on the development of the kype in adult Atlantic salmon (P. Eckhard Witten), scleral ossicle development and evolution in birds and teleost fishes (Tamara Franz-Odendaal), development of the dermal skeleton and pectoral girdle in crocodiles and armadillos (Matt Vickaryous), reconstruction of Nova Scotian prosauropod dinosaurs (Tim Fedak), analysis of development and resorpion of skeleton in larval echinoderms (Jennifer Legere), role of heat shock protein 90 (HSP-90) in mediating phenotypic change
following heat shock to zebra fish embryos (Michelle Connolly), analysis of neural crest cells during metamorphosis in an anuran amphibian (Neely Vincent), analysis of loss of pelvic fins and transformation of fins to suckers in teleosts (Lisa Budney), modeling neural crest cell migration (John Stone, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario). We have also just completed an analysis of the development and evolutionary distribution of cartilages in invertebrates, especially cephalopods (Alison Cole, now PDF at UC Davis).
Three book projects are in various stages of completion:
Bones and Cartilage: Developmental and Evolutionary Skeletal Biology (Brian K. Hall), Elsevier/Academic Press, London, to be published March/April, 2005)
Variation: A Central Concept in Biology (Benedikt Hallgrimsson and Brian K. Hall, eds), Elsevier/Academic Press, New York, to be published April, 2005
Fins into Limbs (B. K. Hall, ed.), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Il, to be published late 2005).
Link to Lab Web site (and
then check under Faculty)