KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Jacqueline Moustakas-Verho
KLI Colloquia
Of Teeth and Scales: Developmental Experiments in Organs of Skin
Jacqueline MOUSTAKAS-VERHO (University of Helsinki)
2017-07-11 16:30 - 2017-07-11 16:30
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Several subdisciplines of biology try to understand the diversification of phenotypes through time, often leaving a disconnect between the different timescales. I will discuss, from an evolutionary developmental biology point of view, the patterning of two vertebrate organs of skin that share a surprising amount of similarity developmentally despite being so morphologically disparate: the scutes of the turtle shell and the mammalian dentition. I will consider their development, variations, and evolutionary history while asking what emergent properties are relevant for our understanding of the natural world.


Biographical note:
Evolutionary biology and philosophy were both formally introduced to Jacqueline Moustakas-Verho as an undergraduate at Boston University, and this changed the direction of her life. She studied the role of the environment in the evolution of eusociality with James F. A. Traniello, as well as avian molecular systematics and brood parasitism with Michael D. Sorenson and Frederick E. Wasserman, respectively. Jacqueline’s interests in evolutionary morphology led her to a PhD program in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley with Kevin Padian. She studied the evolution and development of the vertebrate skeleton with a special focus on the origin of the turtle shell. Intervention by Bill Clemens peaked Jacqueline’s interest in the vertebrate dentition, and she pursued postdoctoral studies with Leslea Hlusko at UC Berkeley and Jukka Jernvall at the University of Helsinki. Upon arriving at the University of Helsinki, she developed a project on turtles with Scott Gilbert that integrated the expertise of Jukka Jernvall and Isaac Salazar-Ciudad. Jacqueline has since expanded her toolkit by working on model organisms and with numerous technologies, while developing a research program that combines morphologically disparate systems that are united by evolutionary developmental biology.