Tag: Jo Wolfe
Jo is a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto in Canada, and her PhD from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Her education and research consists of equal parts palaeontology, genomics and developmental biology. A particular focus is the contribution of fossil and developmental information (and their biases) to reconstructing evolutionary relationships among animals, especially arthropods. Currently she is using next-generation molecular sequencing to study gene expression and body-plan evolution in decapod crustaceans (crabs, shrimp and lobsters). Cambrian fossils, however, have been her truest inspiration ever since she first read about them at the age of 8!
Dr Jo Wolfe, Division of Invertebrate Zoology & Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, USA.
By Jo Wolfe*1
Development, the process by which a single egg cell transforms into a complex adult organism, has fascinated biologists for more than 200 years. In the mid-nineteenth century, before and during the time when Charles Darwin was uncovering the principles of natural selection, a number of biologists who wondered what caused evolutionary relationships among organisms looked to development for answers. The German zoologist Ernst Haeckel popularized the phrase “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” — where ontogeny is an organism’s development and phylogeny is its evolutionary relationships. You may have seen a version of his famous diagram in biology textbooks (Fig. 1). Haeckel suggested that, during each successive stage of development, an animal would pass through a