SICB Division of Comparative Biomechanics (DCB)

DCB Researchers Database Entry

Development and evolution of vertebrate cranial placodes
Placodes are embryonic thickenings of the ectoderm and give rise to many of the cranial ganglia and specialized sense organs (e.g. nose, ear, lateral line) which arose as novelties during the evolution of the vertebrate head. However, in contrast to the neural crest, another versatile embryonic tissue involved in vertebrate head formation, we still know very little about placode development. Current research in my lab focusses on early processes of placode induction and development in amphibians (mainly Xenopus). In the future, we hope to combine these developmental studies with comparative studies of other vertebrates and protochordates in order to elucidate how placodes originated and diversified during vertebrate evolution.