Marvalee H. Wake
Professor of Integrative Biology
Research Areas: morphology, development, and reproductive biology in vertebrates, evolutionary patterns and processes
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.