Morphometric approaches to variation, variability, and constraints on phenotypic evolution
I'm interested in whether constraints, mechanisms affecting the availability of phenotypic variation, play an important role in shaping patterns of morphological evolution. With a focus on morphology and morphometric analyses, my work examines various aspects of evolutionary constraints, including the link between trait integration and morphological disparity, the importance of plasticity in patterning phenotypic variation, and the effect of constraints on morphospace occupation.
Phenotypic plasticity and the fin-to-limb transition
I'm also interested in examining the potential role of phenotypic plasticity in facilitating the evolution of terrestriality. My lab uses the amphibious fish Polypterus senegalus as a living model for the morphological, physiological, and behavioural modifications required for a fish to survive on in a terrestrial environment. My work primarily focuses on plastic changes in pectoral girdle and fin morphology when Polypterus are exposed to terrestrial conditions for prolonged periods of time. My research uses microCT scans in combination with various morphometric methods to capture and describe changes in skeletal morphology, as well as histochemical techniques to visualize tissue-level changes.