Embryonic development is a fascinating process. Cells divide, migrate, and change shape; tissues grow, bend, and invaginate; until in some way, a whole organism arises with functional organs in place. How embryos create form and build themselves from a single cell remains one of the biggest questions in biology. But for me, the most mind-boggling question is a follow-up—how do embryos evolve?

I want to understand the factors that shape evolutionary change in early embryonic development, and that drive the origin of evolutionary novelties in morphogenesis. I’m currently interested in how the crosstalk between fate specification, epithelial morphogenesis, and tissue mechanics, played a role in the evolution of head–trunk boundary in bilaterians.

Current projects

Research on evolutionary mechanobiology
Role of tissue mechanics in embryo evolution

Evolutionary mechanobiology and morphogenesis of the head–trunk boundary in flies and beyond

Patterning and morphogenesis of the head–trunk boundary

Cephalic furrow development and function in Drosophila

cephalic furrow genes
Early cell fate specification in annelids

Transcriptional profile of early blastomeres in Platynereis

Previous projects

Evolution of body segmentation in bilaterians

Molecular patterning of body boundaries in brachiopods

Ttra larva header
Mmem gastrula header
Evolution of cleavage patterns in spiralians

Cell lineage and molecular patterning in bryozoans

Evolution of bilateral symmetry in echinoderms

Embryonic, larval, and juvenile development in sea biscuits

Pluteus larva