Marvalee H. Wake

Professor of Integrative Biology
Keywords: evolution
Research Areas: morphology, development, and reproductive biology in vertebrates, evolutionary patterns and processes

Research Description:

Current research in my laboratory emphasizes morphology, development, and reproductive biology in vertebrates with the goal of understanding evolutionary patterns and processes. The comparative method is applied to ontogenetic and adult studies of various organ systems and their integration in fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. We are particularly interested in examining patterns of early development and of the evolution of live-bearing modes of reproduction in order to understand and assess homology and homoplasy. We employ a diversity of techniques, including immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and many others. We are interested in many problems in evolutionary, developmental, and functional morphology. Current students in the lab are working variously on lizard biomechanics of running on sand in lizards and the molecular systematics of Brazilian amphisbaenians. We are also involved in developing the application of the comparative method to issues of the understanding and preservation of biodiversity.

  • Poe, S. and M.H. Wake. 2004. Quantitative tests of general models for the evolution of development. Amer. Natur. 34 ms. pp., in press.
  • Wake, M.H. 2003. Reproductive modes, ontogenies, and the evolution of body form. Anim. Biol. 53(3):209-223.
  • Wake, M.H. 2003. Embryonization and the evolution of viviparity. Pp. 151-169 In Environment, Development, and Evolution: Toward a Synthesis. B.K. Hall, R.D. Pearson, G. Mueller, eds. MIT Press, Boston, MA.
  • Wake, M.H. 2003. The osteology of caecilians. Chapter 6, pp. 1811-1878 In Amphibian Biology, vol. 5, Osteology. H. Heatwole and M. Davies, eds. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Pty. Ltd., Chipping Norton, Australia.
  • Wake, M.H. 2003, What is “integrative biology”? Integ. Comp. Biol. 43:239-241.
  • Wake, M.H. 2001. Bodies and body plans-how they came to be: development and morphology at the millennium. Pp. 28-52 In A New Century of Biology. W. J. Kress and G. Barrett, eds. Smithsonian Publ., Washington, DC.
  • DŸnker, N., M.H. Wake, and W.M. Olson. 2000. Embryonic and larval development in the caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Amphibia, Gymnophiona): A staging table. J. Morphol. 243(1):3-34.
  • Hall, B.K. and M.H. Wake (co-editors). 1999. The Origin and Evolution of Larval Forms. Academic Press, New York and San Diego.
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