Seminar: Dr. Bernie Degnan (University of Queensland)
Title: Origin of animal complexity
Speaker: Dr. Bernie Degnan (Director of the Center of Marine Science, Australia Research Council Laureate Fellow, University of Queensland)
Abstract: Understanding how multicellular organisms evolved from their single-cell ancestors is considered one of the great challenges in biology. Applying genomic and cellular approaches to a sea sponge, we are able to travel back over 600 million years to decipher how animals emerged from their humble unicellular beginnings. What we find is that the rules that govern the formation and functioning of today’s incredibly complex animals, including humans, can be traced directly back to the very first forays into being multicellular.