Molecular and Cell Biology 90B, Section 1

Development and Evolution: The Role of History in Biology (1 unit, P/NP)

Professor David Weisblat
Wednesday 11:00-12:00, 104 Genetics & Plant Biology, Class number: 16685

Recent studies have shown that animals as different as fruit fly, octopus and human have remarkably similar complements of genes. How then, do we account for the tremendous diversity in the millions of species of living (and extinct) species? This seminar introduces participants to the field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) which aims to address this and related questions, using techniques that range from classical embryological approaches to DNA sequencing and genome editing.

Instructor Bio

I am a Professor in the MCB Department. Growing up in the Michigan countryside, I was fascinated by natural history. During undergraduate and graduate school, I studied biochemistry and neurophysiology. I came to Berkeley as a postdoc, planning to study the neurobiology of the leech. Here, however, my interests were redirected to developmental biology, and gradually to the question of how changes in developmental mechanisms have given rise to the remarkable diversity of present day animals.

Faculty web site:


For students who are interested in "life's mysteries" whether prospective biology majors or not.