Nematostella Vectensis

Nematostella vectensis is powerful model cnidarian.  It has a sequenced genome, readily available embryos and many molecular and genetic tools that make it excellent as the subject of cellular and developmental study.  Cnidarians are the basal to all bilaterally symmetric animals, the Bilateria, and this powerful phylogenetic placement allows us to better understand the evolution of the nervous system, genetic networks and complex traits.  In particular, we use Nematostella to study sensory tissue evolution and development and gene regulatory network evolution.