Dr. Joseph Ryan has been faculty at Whitney Lab since 2014. Before that, he was a postdoctoral scholar at Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology in Bergen, Norway and a research fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He earned his Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Boston University.
The remarkable display of diversity in the animal kingdom is a result of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary change. We combine experimental techniques, genome sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses to address fundamental questions about the sources of this evolutionary diversity in marine animals. The main animal models in the lab are ctenophores (comb jellies) and cnidarians (e.g., anemones, jellyfish, stalked jellies), but we also have projects involving annelids, echinoderms, ectoprocts, flatworms, and other marine invertebrates.
The Ryan lab is interdisciplinary and integrates experimental biology and bioinformatic techniques to address questions at the intersection of evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and ecology. The work involves DNA sequencing, genome assembly, genome annotation, phylogenomics, microinjections, spectroscopy, fieldwork, and any other techniques that help address fundamental questions in animal evolution.