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Toby Andrews

Toby Andrews

PhD Student


Biography:

I graduated from King’s College London in 2016 with a BSc in Anatomy, Developmental and Human Biology. While there, I became particularly interested in embryology, and how events during the development of the embryo can inform of evolutionary transitions. In my final year there, I worked with Professor Anthony Graham, studying the development of the pharyngeal apparatus in the chick embryo as a means to dissect the origins of anatomical novelties in the vertebrate lineage.

I then moved to Cambridge to pursue a Wellcome Trust PhD studentship in Developmental Mechanisms. In my first year on the programme, I undertook rotation projects in the labs of Elia Benito-Gutierrez, Ben Steventon and Michael Akam. Now, I am continuing my work in the Benito-Gutierrez lab for my PhD, in which I am dissecting the developmental and evolutionary origins of the chordate body plan in the most basal living member of the phylum alive today - the cephalochordate amphioxus.

Research Interests

I am interested in how the three-dimensional structure of the embryo takes shape, in terms of cellular behaviours and signalling dynamics. This is to the end of understanding how complex anatomical traits are assembled, and the mechanisms that have driven their modification over evolutionary time. Experimentally, I am interested in the use of comparative embryology and non-model organisms for asking related questions.