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We study the genetic basis for animal diversity, with a focus on the evolution of developmental processes ("Evo-Devo") in arthropods.  Some of our work uses well-studied laboratory models like the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the beetle Tribolium castaneum, but we also work with animals that are much less well studied, but which, because of their position in the tree of life, are particularly important for our understanding of arthropod evolution. 

Current research topics include:

  • The control of segment identity by Hox genes
  • Evolution and function of arthropod and annelid Hox clusters
  • The evolution of segmentation mechanisms in arthropods
  • The control of segment number variation in centipedes
  • Gene regulatory networks underlying head and mesoderm patterning
  • The centipede genome


Full list of publications via Google Scholar


Contact Details

Group Leader

Professor Michael Akam

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

01223  (3)30114

Group Members