General Interests: I have investigated the development of the cranial and axial skeleton of the cyprinid Danio rerio, the zebrafish over the past 10 years from morphological, molecular, and integrative evo-devo viewpoints. My students and I have published the two key anatomical references to the developing skeleton of zebrafish (Cubbage and Mabee, 1996; Bird and Mabee, 2003). These publications have provided a critical bridge between two very different communities of scientists: developmental biologists whose experimental model is zebrafish and ichthyologists who focus on interspecific comparisons with phylogenetic, ecological and conservation goals. Our publications are widely referenced by the zebrafish community as they provide as basis for comparative work among model organisms (including sticklebacks, medaka, and Fugu as well as chick, mouse, and frog). I have additionally contributed to our growing knowledge of the developing skeleton and the associated laterosensory system, and my molecular genetic work to date supports a hypothesis of skeletal segmentation in fishes that was likely evolutionarily co-opted by other vertebrates in limb and digit formation.
Taxa: Recent species; Families Cyprinidae and Catostomidae