Fungal Evo-Devo and Beyond
Evolutionary biology has become a cross-disciplinary field that has recently drawn on genomics, cell, and developmental biology. These fields, traditionally the realm of biomedical research, have provided a new level of detail about the mechanisms of evolution. Some outstanding questions that motivate my research are: 1) What genetic and developmental changes accompanied the transition to multicellularity in fungi? 2) What are the origins of cell type diversity and functional specialization? 3) Are there conserved gene regulatory networks or genetic toolkits in fungal phyla with disparate lifestyles and morphology? 4) How do these genetic developmental toolkits contribute to fungal species boundaries within a phylum?