Welcome to the Rolian lab website!
Our research aims to understand how morphology evolves. We use the mammal limb skeleton as a model to address three questions: (1) How does limb development evolve to produce diversity among species? (2) How does covariation in size and shape among limb bones impact their ability to evolve independently? (3) How does limb morphological variation affect locomotor performance across individuals?
We integrate data from multiple levels of biological organization (e.g., genomic, developmental, organismal), to define the mechanisms that have shaped limb ecomorphology in mammals.
Take a look around the website to find out more about our work, and thanks for visiting!
July 2019: The final version of our comprehensive genomic and population genetics study of the Longshanks mouse, in collaboration with Frank Chan (MPI Tuebingen) and Nick Barton (IST Austria) is out in eLife: (open access), check it out here: https://elifesciences.org/articles/42014
July 2019: Our paper on the Nabo mouse is out in PeerJ: https://peerj.com/articles/7180/. This mouse first appeared in generation F14 of the Longshanks experiment, and ironically has short limbs. Great work by Dr. Marta Marchini, who is now studying the genomic and molecular basis of this dysplasia.
May 2019: Our latest Longshanks paper is out in the Journal of Experimental Biology! In this study, we show how the physical properties of the Longshanks tibia (bending strength, brittleness) have changed as a consequence of selection for rapid growth: jeb.biologists.org/content/222/9/jeb203125
April 2019: Masters student Colton Unger was awarded an NSERC PGS M scholarship to study cranial shape changes in the Longshanks mouse. Congrats Colton!
April 2019: Masters student Madison Bradley successfully defended her thesis on jumping performance in the Longshanks mouse, and is off to do her PhD at Duke University! Congrats, Madi!