Evolutionary Developmental Genetics



We work on the developmental genetics of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Our goal is to identify genes that are responsible for head development, to reveal their interactions and understand the pattering principles. Both epidermis and brain stem cells (the so called neuroblasts) arise from the same tissue and use - at least in part - the same patterning cues. Therefore, we regard brain and epidermis as two outcomes of the same early patterning processes that should be studied together. Finally, we aim to understand how the insect head evolved thereby contributing to the ongoing discussion on the infamous "arthropod head problem".