Hello, my name is Nipam Patel and I'm a professor
at the University of California at Berkeley.
I'm going to speak today about
the evolution of morphological novelty.
This slide just shows a little bit of the incredible
diversity that we see in animals around us today.
Scientists have long been fascinated in how this
diversity has come about through evolution,
and I'm going to talk today a little bit about
our understanding nowadays about how some of this
diversity has come to be.
Scientists have understood that this diversity comes
about both at the level within populations, so
on the left, for example,
you see a group of butterflies.
These butterflies are actually
all of the same species, but
they show incredible diversity at a morphological
level, in this case, in their coloring, and
on the right you see diversity at
a larger distance between species.
We see a leech, an elephant, a bird and
a millipede and again this illustrates
the incredible diversity that we have in organisms.
What we've come to understand is that if we examine
the molecular and genetic details of development,
that is, how embryos go from an individual
fertilized egg into the final adult organism,
then we can understand development in enough
detail to begin to ask how developmental
changes actually generate new morphologies,
and this is an exciting field in science.
In this slide we see a single egg on the left hand
side and all eggs of most animals look very similar,
but of course, differences in how they
develop lead to incredible differences in
the final organism that results, so
here we see an elephant, a human and a butterfly.
So how is it that this comes about?
This has been a question now that we've been
addressing in a variety of labs in a variety