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Casey Dunn, PhD


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Casey Dunn, PhD



My lab studies animal evolution, with a particular focus on better understanding our most distant animal relatives and the earliest events in the animal tree of life. Our research includes field work to collect poorly known animals, often by SCUBA diving and sometimes with remotely operated underwater vehicles. Lab bench work includes studies of anatomy and genome function. Much of my work is computational- we develop methods and tools for analyzing evolutionary relationships and using those relationships to provide an integrated perspective on genomic and anatomical evolution. I coauthored the book Practical Computing for Biologists to help more biologists become comfortable with computational methods. In addition to his studies of broad patterns of diversity across distantly related animals, my lab also focuses on siphonophores, a group of about 185 species of open-ocean animals that include the Portuguese Man of War. We address basic questions about their structure, growth, diversity, and evolution. I did my undergraduate studies at Stanford University, my graduate studies were with Günter Wagner at Yale, and postdoc studies with Mark Martindale at the University of Hawaii.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Yale University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2005)
  • MS
    Yale University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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