Billie Swalla

Billie Swalla

Research areas

Research years

Marine Genomics allows insights into the mechanisms by which evolutionary novelty evolves in animal body plans. My lab is interested in the evolution of animal body plans and uses comparative genomic approaches to understand the evolution of specific cell types and structures. We study the evolution and development of the chordates, a unique group of animals that includes vertebrates. We are studying how chordates evolved from marine invertebrates using tunicates and hemichordates. We use phylogenies and the expression of developmental genes to infer ancestral traits. We are also studying the development and evolution of ctenophores, a group of very basal metazoans. in collaboration with Professor Leonid Moroz and Dr. Andrea Kohn at the University of Florida‚ Whitney Marine Labs.

Selected publications

2015

Vandepas, L.E., Serina Lee, S.C., Oliveira, L.M., Hirose, E., Rocha, R.M. and Swalla, B.J. (2015) The native range of Phallusia nigra: Is it really black and white? Biol. Bull. (in press)

2014

Lowe, E. K., Swalla, B. J., and Brown, C. T. (2014) Evaluating a lightweight transcriptome assembly pipeline on two closely related ascidian species. Peer J preprint.

2014

Stolfi, A., Sasakura, Y., Chalopin, D., Satou, Y., Christiaen, L., Dantec, C., Endo T., Naville, M., Nishida, H., Swalla, B. J., Volff,J.-N., Voskoboynik, A., Dauga, D. and Lemaire, P. (2014) Guidelines for the nomenclature of genetic elements in tunicate genomes. Genesis. In press

2014

Karaiskou, A. Swalla, B. J, Sasakura, Y. and Chambon J.-P. (2014) Metamorphosis in solitary ascidians. Genesis. In press

2014

Cannon, J.T. Kocot, K. M., Waits, D. S., Weese, D. A., Swalla, B. J., Santos, S. R., and Halanych, K. M. (2014) Phylogenomic resolution of the hemichordate and echinoderm Clade. Current Biology. 24: 1-6.

2014

Stolfi, A., Lowe, E., Racioppi, C., Ristoratore, F., Swalla, B.J., Brown, C.T. and Christiaen, L. (2014) Divergent mechanisms regulate conserved cardiopharyngeal development and gene expression in distantly related ascidians. eLife 2014:3:e03728

2014

Moroz, L.L., K.M. Kocot, M.R. Citarella, S. Dosung, T.P. Norekian, I.S. Povolotskaya, A.P. Grigorenko, C. Dailey, E. Berezikov, K. M. Buckley, A. Ptitsyn, D. Reshetov, K. Mukherjee, T.P. Moroz, Y. Bobkova, F. Yu, V.V. Kapitonov, J. Jurka, Y.V. Bobkov, J.J. Swore, D.O. Girardo, A. Fodor, F. Gusev, R. Sanford, R. Bruders, E. Kittler, C.E. Mills, J.P. Rast, R. Derelle, V.V. Solovyev, F.A. Kondrashov, B.J. Swalla, J.V. Sweedler, E.I. Rogaev, K.M. Halanych, and A.B. Kohn, 2014. The ctenophore genome and the evolutionary origins of neural systems. Nature (June 5, 2014): 109-114. Published online May 21, 2014; corrected online June 4, 2014.

2013

Cannon J. T., Swalla, B.J., and Halanych, K. M. (2013) Hemichordate molecular phylogeny reveals a novel cold-Water clade of Harrimaniid acorn worms. Biol. Bull. 225: 194–204.

2013

Halanych, K. M., Cannon J. T., Mahon A. R., Swalla, B. J., and Smith, C. R. (2013) Modern Antarctic acorn worms form tubes. Nature Comm. 3738: 1-4.

2013

Peterson, K. J., Su Yi-H., Arnone M. I., Swalla B. J., and King B. (2013) microRNAs support the monophyly of enteropneust hemichordates. J. Exp. Zoolog. B Mol. Dev. Evol. 9999B: 1–7.

2013

Maliska, M. E., Pennell, M. W. and Swalla B.J. (2013) Developmental mode influences diversification in ascidians. Biology Letters 9: 20130068.