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  • Interview
  • Open Access

Evolutionary development and morphological modifications of the brain: an interview with Angelika Stollewerk

BMC Biology201816:117

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-018-0590-8

  • Received: 9 October 2018
  • Accepted: 9 October 2018
  • Published:

Abstract

Angelika Stollewerk is a Reader at Queen Mary University of London, where her lab uses a diverse range of species to study the evolution of the arthropod nervous system. Angelika spoke to us about social spiders, the future of evo-devo, and open peer review.

Keywords

  • Evo-devo
  • Evolution
  • Nervous system
  • Arthropod
  • Evolution of sociality
  • Cell atlases
  • Neurogenesis

What are your current research interests?

I have lots of different interests but they all revolve around arthropods and the evolution of the nervous system. I like to work with many different species and one exciting new project involves two social spider species, which we have recently collected. We are looking for links between peripheral nervous system evolution and the evolution of sociality using gene expression and functional and behavioural approaches.

What are your predictions for the field over the next 5 years?

The evo-devo research field has changed substantially over the past 10 years. Rather than analyzing single genes, morphology and a handful of representatives for taxa/phyla, the field has moved on to generating transcriptomes of developmental stages, tissues and single cells and substantially increased the genome coverage, in particular in arthropods (e.g., [17]). One of the next steps (in my area) will be to systematically establish cell atlases for a large number of species across all phyla to identify evolutionary cell lineages and work out the different levels of evolutionary relationships between tissues, organs and cells.

What motivates you to provide peer review for journals?

I like reading brand new research! I also think peer review is an essential service to the academic community to ensure high quality publications and this responsibility should be shared by as many researchers as possible.

What changes, if any, would you make to the current system of peer review?

Declarations

Acknowledgements

Not applicable.

Funding

Not applicable.

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.

Author’s contributions

AS wrote the manuscript. AS read and approved the final manuscript.

Competing interests

The author declares she has no competing interests.

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Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK

References

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Copyright

© The Author(s). 2018

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