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Austen Barnett



I am broadly interested in how changes in developmental dynamics facilitate morphological evolution. I began this interest by studying lamprey retinal development during my undergraduate work at the University of Southern Indiana. Following this, I studied how gene expression patterns have changed to produce divergent morphologies in the mite Archegozetes, including its reduction of segmentation, limb development and the deployment of Hox genes, for my PhD work at the University of Southern Illinois. After graduating, I studied the genetic input of Rho kinase substrates on establishing planar cell polarity in the developing eyes and wings of Drosophila during my postdoc at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. My current interests focus on the genetic input needed to induce germ cell production in the cricket to answer questions surrounding the evolution of germ cell specification.


Barnett AA, Nakamura T and Extavour CG. Hox genes limit germ cell formation in the short germ insect Gryllus bimaculatus. bioRxiv 419119 (2018)

Dollar G, Gombos R, Barnett AA, Sanchez Hernandez D, Maung SM, Mihaly J, Jenny A (2016) Unique and Overlapping Functions of Formins F1 and DAAM During Ommatidial Rotation and Neuronal Development in Drosophila. Genetics 202(3): 1135-51.

Fagan JK, Dollar G, Lu Q, Barnett AA, Pechuan Jorge J, Schlosser A, Pfleger C, Adler P, Jenny A (2014) Combover/CG10732, a Novel PCP Effector for Drosophila Wing Hair Formation. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107311.

Barnett AA, Thomas RH. (2013) Posterior Hox gene reduction in an arthropod: Ultrabithorax and Abdominal-B are expressed in a single segment in the mite Archegozetes longisetosus. Evodevo 4(1):23

Barnett AA, Thomas RH. (2013) The expression of limb gap genes in the mite Archegozetes longisetosus reveals differential patterning mechanisms in chelicerates. Evolution and Development 15(4):280-92

Barnett AA, Thomas RH. (2012) The delineation of the fourth walking leg segment is temporally linked to posterior segmentation in the mite Archegozetes longisetosus (Acari: Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae). Evolution and Development 14(4):383-92