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Grasshopper

Frank Smith

Frank Smith Headshot

 

Faculty Bio

 

Website

Assistant Professor

Phone: (904) 620-2883

Office: Building 59, Room 2315

Email:frank.smith@unf.edu

Research Interests

Evolutionary developmental biology, comparative genomics, comparative morphology

Areas of Expertise

Evolutionary developmental biology, comparative genomics, comparative morphology

Education

B.S. University of Rhode Island (2007)

Ph.D. University of Connecticut (2013)

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013-2017)

Biography

My research focuses on the origin and diversification of body plans found in the superphylum Panarthropoda (Arthropoda, Onychophora, Tardigrada)--a lineage renowned for its diversity of segmental body plans. In order to investigate body plan evolution in this lineage, I have built an integrative research program that combines comparative approaches to developmental genetics, genomics, and morphology. My approach allows me to reconstruct body plans of ancient panarthropod ancestors and elucidate the developmental changes that led to modern forms. My goal is to identify the developmental principles that govern the origin and diversification of segmented body plans. My recent studies have focused on the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. At UNF, I am continuing my investigations of H. dujardini and working to establish distant tardigrade relatives of this species for comparative studies.