Location: Room E1, 4th floor Brambell Building
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383492
Personal webpage: www.johnmulley.com
My main research interest is in the way that genomic changes have influenced animal evolution and development. Current research projects focus on the GC-biased mutation in desert rodents, snake venom evolution, and the mechanisms by which the uterine environment can change gene expression in the embryo.
I have a long-standing interest in vertebrate genome evolution, especially as it relates to gene and genome duplication, and/or the evolution of novelty. Whole genome duplications look likely to have played a significant role in the evolution of vertebrates, and particularly the development of vertebrate innovations, and gene duplication has been an important factor in the origin and diversification of snake venom.
Postgraduate opportunities in this area relate to the evolution of vertebrate homeobox genes; GC-biased mutation in desert rodents; and snake venom evolution, taking advantage of recent advances in long-read sequencing and techniques for the assembly of chromosome-scale genome assemblies such as Hi-C.
Evolution and Development (Evo-Devo)
Changes to embryonic development can have major effects on adult morphology, and the evolution of developmental processes has been a major driver of animal evolution.
Postgraduate opportunities in this area relate to my current research into vertebrate axial patterning, and particularly how the uterine environment might influence numbers and types of vertebrae in mouse models. These projects would require management of rodent breeding programs; collection of embryos; antibody-based hormones assays, and gene/protein expression studies. There is scope for expansion of this research into studies of human and non-human primate vertebral variation.
Snake venom evolution
The availability of whole genome sequences for multiple snake species is providing unprecedented insight into the processes underlying the origin and diversification of snake venom. Bangor University is one of the few Universities in the UK that maintains a collection of venomous snakes, and this invaluable resource facilitates research into the genetic factors responsible for inter- and intra-species variation in snake venom composition.
Postgraduate opportunities in this area relate to the determination of the gene and genome level mechanisms that drive variation in venom composition within and between species.