Dr Dave Ferrier

Dr Dave Ferrier
Reader in Biology and Deputy Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute


Research Overview. We aim to understand how the diversity of form in the animal kingdom evolved. The focus of our research is the connection between the evolution of animal genome organisation and development, with a particular concentration on the homeobox-containing genes. The Hox gene cluster is established as a corner-stone of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, but much about the evolution of its organisation and mode of operation remains unknown. Also the Hox cluster is not unique as a homeobox gene cluster controlling animal development, further clusters being the ParaHox and NK clusters, all of which evolved within larger arrays of homeobox genes (the Mega-cluster, Giga-cluster and Super-Hox cluster). We utilize a variety of organisms in our research (including amphioxus, sea squirts, polychaetes and priapulids), chosen from key points in the phylogeny of the animals to enable reconstruction of the ancestral conditions at major nodes in the animal kingdom; the origin of bilaterians, protostomes, deuterostomes, chordates and vertebrates, as well as the origin of the entire animal kingdom. Knowledge of such ancestors is vital in understanding subsequent diversification.

source: symbiosis


11 (of 11 published available) for dekf with keyword EXPRESSION clear keyword filter. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
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A revised spiralian homeobox gene classification incorporating new polychaete transcriptomes reveals a diverse TALE class and a divergent Hox gene Ildiko Maureen Lara Somorjai, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Genome Biology and Evolution 2018 vol.10 pp.2151–2167
Amphioxus SYCP1 David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Development Genes and Evolution 2018 vol.228 pp.13-30
Amphioxus functional genomics and the origins of vertebrate gene regulation Ferdinand Marletaz, Panos Firbas, Ignacio Maeso, Juan Tena, Ozren Bogdanovic, Malcolm Perry, Chris Wyatt, Elisa de la Calle-Mustienes, Stephanie Bertrand, Demian Burguera, Rafael Acemel, Simon van Heeringen, Silvia Naranjo, Carlos Herrera-Ubeda, Ksenia Skvortsova, Sandra Jimenez-Gancedo, Daniel Aldea, Yamile Marquez, Lorena Buono, Iryna Kozmikova, Jon Permanyer, Alexandra Louis, Beatriz Albuixech-Crespo, Yann Le Petillon, Anthony Leon Florian, Lucie Subirana, Piotr J. Balwierz, Paul Duckett, Ensieh Farahani, Jean Marc Aury, Sophie Mangenot, Patrick Wincker, Ricard Albalat, Elia Benito-Gutierrez, Cristian Canestro, Filipe Castro, Salvatore D'Aniello, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Shengfeng Huang, Vincent Laudet, Gabriel Marais, Pierre Pontarotti, Michael Schubert, Herve Seitz, Ildiko Maureen Lara Somorjai, Tokiharu Takahashi, Olivier Mirabeau, Anlong Xu, Jr-Kai Yu, Piero Carninci, Juan Martinez-Morales, Hugues Crollius, Zbynek Kozmik, Matt Weirauch, Jordi Garcia-Fernandez, Ryan Lister, Boris Lenhard, Peter Holland, Hector Escriva, Jose Luis Gomez-Skarmeta, Manuel Irimia
Nature 2018 vol.564 pp.64-70
Transcriptional regulation of the Ciona Gsx gene in the neural plate Clare Hudson, Rosaria Esposito, Antonio Palladino, Leopoldo Staiano, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Emmanuel Faure, Patrick Lemaire, Hitoyoshi Yasuo, Antonietta Spagnuolo
Developmental Biology vol.In press
Two more Posterior Hox genes and Hox cluster dispersal in echinoderms David Ellard Keith Ferrier
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 vol.18
Calcisponges have a ParaHox gene and dynamic expression of dispersed NK homeobox genes Sofia Fortunato, Marcin Adamski, Sven Leininger, Jing Liu, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Maja Adamska
Nature 2014 vol.514 pp.620-623
Time is of the essence for ParaHox homeobox gene clustering. David Ellard Keith Ferrier
BMC Biology 2013 vol.11
Evolution of signal multiplexing by 14-3-3-binding 2R-ohnologue protein families in the vertebrates Michele Tinti, Catherine Johnson, Rachel Toth, David Ellard Keith Ferrier, Carol MacKintosh
Open Biology 2012 vol.2
Annelid Distal-less/Dlx duplications reveal varied post-duplication fates Carmel McDougall, Natalia Korchagina, Johnathan Tobin, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011 vol.11 pp.241
Ancient homeobox gene loss and the evolution of chordate brain and pharynx development Thomas Butts, Peter W.H. Holland, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2010 vol.277 pp.3381-3389
Features of the ancestral bilaterian inferred from Platynereis dumerilii ParaHox genes JHL Hui, F Raible, N Korchagina, N Dray, S Samain, G Magdelenat, C Jubin, B Segurens, G Balavoine, D Arendt, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
BMC Biology 2009 vol.7


The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443