Olivia Grace Weeks
Olivia is an undergraduate in the department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. With funding from Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, Olivia is completing her senior thesis on dental development in the American Alligator. By surveying the expression patterns of genes necessary for tooth development, she has been able to characterize the process of tooth organogenesis in both first generation and replacement teeth. Her studies of crocodilian dental development aim to advance our understanding of the diversity of dental development programs employed across the amniote lineages. Further, the evolutionary relatedness of crocodilians and modern birds makes the crocodilian studies particularly important for understanding the evolution of tooth loss in avian lineages.
From Thom Sanger's homepage: "Joe is the Abzhanov lab math, computer, and computation whiz kid, and has contributed to my work on skull integration of the anole skull."