SICB Annual Meeting 2017
January 4-8, 2017
New Orleans, LA

Symposium: The Evolution of Arthropod Body Plans – Integrating Phylogeny, Fossils and Development

The last few years have seen a huge rise in the amount of data we have about the evolution of the arthropod body plan. This has come from three separate sources: A new consensus and improved resolution of arthropod phylogeny, based largely on new phylogenomic analyses; a wealth of new early arthropod fossils from a number of Cambrian localities with excellent preservation, as well as a renewed analysis of some older fossils; developmental data from a range of model and non-model pan-arthropod species that shed light on the developmental origin and homologies of key arthropod traits.

The symposium is divided into three sessions, each focusing on one theme: phylogeny, fossils and embryos. The symposium will bring together phylogeneticists, paleontologists and evolutionary-developmental biologists to present the newest developments in our understanding of how the arthropod body plan has evolved. These three disciplines are mostly independent of each other, and there is relatively little interaction between workers in the three. However, implicit in the structure of the symposium is that each of the speakers will also touch on one or both of the other two themes.

There is currently renewed interest in fundamental questions of arthropod evolution, stemming from the surge of data detailed above. As our understanding becomes more detailed, the picture becomes more complex, and it is important to bring together workers from different disciplines at this point in time when the consensus is starting to emerge. This symposium will facilitate a synthesis of what the current data are telling us, in order to clearly define the focus of future work on arthropod evolution.

Sponsors: DEDB, DIZ, DPCB, AMS & TCS


  • Ariel Chipman
  • Doug Erwin



S7-1 Saturday, Jan. 7, 08:00 PISANI, D: Problems and progresses in Ecdysozoan relationships: do we have an emerging consensus?

S7-2 Saturday, Jan. 7, 08:30 TWEEDT, S.M.: Development and a model for morphology: Phylogenetic applications and the early arthropod fossil record

S7-3 Saturday, Jan. 7, 09:00 WOLFE, JM: Arthropod ontogeny and phylogeny: Perspectives from fossils and phylogenomics

S7-4 Saturday, Jan. 7, 09:30 SHARMA, PP: Chelicerate genomes, chelate appendages, and conquering land: a view of arachnid origins through an evo-devo spyglass


S7-5 Saturday, Jan. 7, 10:30 EDGECOMBE, Gregory D.: Inferring arthropod phylogeny: Fossils and their interaction with other data sources

S7-6 Saturday, Jan. 7, 11:00 HOPKINS, Melanie J.: Trait development and evolution in trilobites

S7-7 Saturday, Jan. 7, 11:30 ORTEGA-HERNANDEZ, J*; JANSSEN, R; BUDD, GE: Origin and Evolution of the Panarthropod Head – a Deep Time Perspective


S7-8 Saturday, Jan. 7, 13:30 CHIPMAN, A.D.: The evolution of the gene regulatory networks that define arthropod body plans

S7-9 Saturday, Jan. 7, 14:00 JOCKUSCH, E.L.: Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives on the Origin and Diversification of Arthropod Appendages

S7-10 Saturday, Jan. 7, 14:30 SMITH, FW*; GOLDSTEIN, B: Development and Evolution of the Tardigrade Body Plan

S7-11 Saturday, Jan. 7, 15:00 EXTAVOUR, Cassandra/G: Development and Evolution of Arthropod Reproductive Systems