SICB Division of Ecology and Evolution (DEE)

DEE Researchers Database Entry

Christian Peter Klingenberg

What influence do developmental processes have on evolution?
What influence do developmental processes have on evolution? This is the main question that the research in my lab is addressing from a number of different perspectives simultaneously. To answer this question, we are studying the genetic and developmental basis of variation in morphological traits with the methods of geometric morphometrics. The main study systems are the wings of Drosophila and the skull and mandible of mice and other mammals. We are studying the genetics of shape with the methods of classical quantitative genetics, with techniques for mapping quantitative trait loci, and with mutations of known genes. The goal of these studies is to find out how the developmental system influences the genetic variation that is the raw material for evolution. We are also interested in the variation at a larger evolutionary scale. We use phylogenetic comparative methods to infer the history of evolutionary changes in shape. This large-scale perspective can then be compared to the smaller-scale variation. The work on these questions also raises problems concerning morphometric methods. Development of improved methods that use morphometrics in the context of various experimental and comparative approaches is another goal of the research. More information about the members of the lab and the research is available at our web site: