June Grad Spotlight: Emily Funk

 

I am a fifth year student in Amy McCune’s lab. I study the evolution of novel phenotypes using comparative developmental genetics. More specifically, I am investigating the evolution of the gas bladder in ray-finned fishes from the lungs of the bony-vertebrate common ancestor. The key morphological difference between these homologous organs is the site of budding from the foregut; the gas bladder buds dorsally and the lungs bud ventrally. Using immunohistochemistry and tissue-specific transcriptomics, I am comparing the gene expression patterns during gas bladder development in bowfin and lung development in bichirs looking for dorsoventral patterning similarities and differences.

When I’m not hanging out with the fishes, I enjoy trail running, biking, and hiking/backpacking through the mountains.