Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Di-Poi, Nicolas
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title Exploring the developmental and genetic mechanisms underlying morphological evolution of craniofacial tissues in squamate reptiles
Decision No. 321910
Decision date 22.05.2019
Funding period 01.09.2019 - 31.08.2023
Funding 502 289
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
The head represents the most complex and diversified part of the animal body, and its evolution has been a major driving force for rapid animal diversification. The morphology of craniofacial tissues is strongly associated with functional and ecological demands, and differences in craniofacial morphology have substantial implications in many different areas such as social interaction, ecology, conservation biology and clinical genetics. However, because of the long-lasting interest in conventional laboratory animals, there is currently no general understanding of craniofacial diversification in vertebrates. This project will elucidate the mechanisms underlying development, evolution, and diversification of craniofacial tissues in new laboratory models (reptiles) with unique ecologies and morphologies. Such project constitutes one priority to update conservation strategies for biodiversity protection, and will provide relevant new insights into the genetic basis of human birth defects.