Sensory-Motor Evolution

About Me

I am an evolutionary cell biologist interested in understanding how sensory and motor systems have evolved and integrated in animals and fungi. My research spans organismal and molecular levels of organization—tracing the evolutionary trajectories of how animals and fungi perceive, process, and respond to their environment.

My Research

1. Molecular Evolution of Sensory Perception

Sensory systems underlie an organism's ability to translate external cues to internal responses. I study how the molecular networks of sensation evolve and integrate with organismal biology with particular focus on visual and chemosensitive networks in animals and fungi.

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New GPCR Photoreceptors

Ancestral state reconstruction

2. Emergent Behaviors from Sensory-Motor Circuits

As sensory systems integrate into motor and developmental pathways, complex interactions emerge as behaviors and stereotyped developmental programs. I study the integration of sensory circuits into molecular pathways to understand how complex traits arise. From disrupting pathogens to curing disease, sensory-motor circuits are fundamental across many fields of biology.

3. Tools for Evolutionary Cell Biology

Discovery requires robust, accessible tools. I develop protocols to study chytrid cell biology and investigate evolutionary hypotheses. These tools open new avenues of research into the sensory pathways, modes of motility, and behaviors of diverse organisms. From molecular to microscopy, field to computational, these protocols are always open access and freely available.

3D structure of developing zoospores (cyan - membrane) in a sporangium (orange - cell wall).