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


5 (of 5 published available) for dekf with keyword Serpulid clear keyword filter. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

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
Biomineralisation during operculum regeneration in the polychaete Spirobranchus lamarcki Angus Calder, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Marine Biology 2014 vol.161 pp.2621-2629
Cell proliferation dynamics in regeneration of the operculum head appendage in the annelid Pomatoceros lamarckii David Ellard Keith Ferrier
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 2014 vol.322B pp.257-268
The dynamics of alkaline phosphatase activity during operculum regeneration in the polychaete Pomatoceros lamarckii David Ellard Keith Ferrier
International Journal of Developmental Biology 2014 vol.58 pp.635-642
An EST screen from the annelid Pomatoceros lamarckii reveals patterns of gene loss and gain in animals. T. Takahashi, C. McDougall, J. Troschianko, W-C. Chen, A.J. Nagarajan, S.M. Shimeld, David Ellard Keith Ferrier
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009 vol.9


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