From left to right: Bumjin Namkoong, Michael Beauboeuf, Jasmin Camacho, Samantha Smith, Arhat Abzhanov, Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, Atalay Tok, Masayoshi Tokita, Alexander Heyde.
I am a junior faculty member interested in a variety of topics related to vertebrate craniofacial development, evolution and disease. My research group is using morphometric, molecular, cellular, and developmental genetics methods to study how cranial cells undergo skeletal differentiation, and how cranial skeleton changes in evolution and can be affected by human congenital diseases.
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I am broadly interested in major features of the evolution of cranial and cervical development within Amniota. My current research focuses on the evolution and development of the face in Archosauria (birds and crocodiles). I also work in classical comparative anatomy and paleontology, particularly but not limited to that of reptiles.
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I am interested in examining the natural diversity within mammals to ultimately understand the evolution of mammalian traits, such as the middle ear and the six-layered cerebral cortex. I joined the Abzhanov lab in Fall 2012 to perform evo-devo studies in an incredibly diverse family of mammals: the New World Leaf-Nosed Bats (Phyllostomidae). The habitat specialists within phyllostomids are extremely varied and provide an ideal system in which to explore morphological innovation and diversification. Phyllostomids are also an exciting model system for teaching major concepts in evolutionary biology, including novelty, adaptive radiation, and convergence.