Ryan Lab Research

Our lab is interested in the evolution of biodiversity. We integrate genomics and phylogenetics with a wide array of other fields, including physiology, developmental biology, behavior, and neurobiology. Primarily, we focus on ctenophores, cnidarians, and sea cucumbers, but we have projects (either completed or ongoing) that focus on sponges, placozoans, tunicates, flat worms, sea urchins, brittle stars, sea stars, bryozoans, annelids, horseshoe crabs, and even mangroves.

Our lab is highly collaborative; we collaborate with fantastic researchers from all over the world. We tend to work with biologists whose primary expertise is distinct from our own (e.g., taxonomists, developmental biologists, ecologists, cell biologists, phsyiologists) but share a passion for understanding evolutionary processes. This arrangement allows us to approach a problem with a wide range of perspectives and skillsets while leveraging a connecting priciple (evolution) to synthesize collaborative findings. It's also fun and we learn a lot from our collaborators!