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Wim Damen

Department of Genetics, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
Philosophenweg 12
Jena, Thuringia 7743

(+49) 3641 949566

Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals, Achaearanea tepidariorum, Cupiennius salei, Glomeris marginata
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Sanger Sequencing, 454 Pyrosequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, RNA interference(RNAi), Sectioning for Histology, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Epifluoresence Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Time-Lapse Microscopy
Research Description: I am interested in the evolution of developmental mechanisms. A key question is how evolutionary processes generate morphological diversity. Our work is with arthropods. We study how changes in developmental regulatory genes (and their interactions) are related to the evolution of the arthropod body plan. The comparative study of gene networks controlling development will uncover molecular mechanisms generating morphological diversity. The model organisms that we mainly use in this research are the spiders Cupiennius salei and Achaearanea tepidariorum. Spiders form an attractive system as they belong to the chelicerates, a basally branched arthropod group, allowing comparisons to the well-studied fly Drosophila. In addition, we have also done some work on an additional arthropod species, the millipede Glomeris marginata, to extend some of our analyses.
Lab Web Page: http://www.genetik.uni-koeln.de/groups/Damen/spider.html
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
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