Welcome to Angus Davison's lab website.
I am an Associate Professor and Reader in Evolutionary Genetics in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham. I run a research lab, teach undergraduates and supervise postgraduates. I am also the Careers Officer for the School. This is my lab home page, otherwise see my University home page, LinkedIn page, (or my home renovation blog).
There are two main themes to our research. We are using the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis to understand the left-right symmetry breaking event during early development. At the same time, we have begun to investigate the evolutionary origins of supergenes within the charismatic European land snail Cepaea nemoralis (and ladybirds!). Both of these projects are technology led - new, next generation sequencing techniques are enabling us to do what was not possible only a few years ago. See Research for further information.
"Nature is often complicated" is the opening line from Bryan Clarke's 1979 paper "The evolution of genetic diversity" (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 205, 453-474).
New MRes student
Welcome to MRes student, Nebis Navarro, who joined us from Columbia in September. Nebis will investigating the extinct Partula species that we have in our freezer, with a view to finding out how much of the collection is viable for DNA based research.
New lab member
We are delighted to hear that Dr Tamsin Majerus has been awarded a Daphne Jackson Trust fellowship to work in the lab. Specifically, Tamsin will use a RAD-sequencing approach to examine the genetics of colour pattern polymorphism in two congeneric species of ladybird, identifying whether the same genetic regions and changes are involved in both species.
Unwinding snail chirality
The left-right asymmetry of snails, including the direction of shell coiling, is determined by the delayed effect of a maternal gene on the chiral twist that takes place during early embryonic cell divisions. Yet, despite being a well-established classical problem, the identity of the gene and the means by which left-right asymmetry is established in snails remain unknown. In a recently published paper, we demonstrated the power of new approaches, especially RAD-Seq and fibre-FISH, for later identification of the chirality gene. Read the full text here.
The just published PLOS ONE paper has received considerable coverage in the media, including Nature, the BBC, ScienceNow and The Times, amongst others. One article was even thoughtful enough to recount my recipe for cooking Cepaea - Nidhi Subbaraman's article for NBCUniversal. The highlight of all this media attention was an appearance on the venerable BBC Radio 4 science programme, Material World - it was a slightly poignant visit to Bush House in London, because I got to witness Quentin Cooper's final ever show (podcast available, June 20th).