Professor Bernard Degnan

Director CMS & UQ Develop. Fellow

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
b.degnan@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52467

Overview

I am the Director of the Centre for Marine Science, and teach and lead a research group in the School of Biological Sciences.

Research Interests

  • Genomes, Development & Evolution
    We are interested in the genomic, cellular and developmental mechanisms that underpin the evolution, formation and functioning of animals. Our lab studies a wide range of coral reef invertebrates - sponges, echinoderms, molluscs and ascidians - some that have traits of economic and environmental value and others that act as models to address fundamental questions in biology and biomedicine.
  • 1. Origin of animal complexity
    We seek to understand the nature and evolution of the genome-encoded rules governing animal systems, including development, stem cells and regeneration.
  • 2. Marine biology and biotechnology
    We undertake basic, strategic and applied research into the molecular, cellular and developmental biology of coral reef invertebrates, including development of novel biocontrol strategies.
  • 3. Genomics and evolution of biomineralization
    We study the formation and patterning of complex biomaterials comprising marine skeletons and shells, some which are of commercial value.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Biochemistry), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology), University of California

Publications

  • Sogabe, Shunsuke, Hatleberg, William L., Kocot, Kevin M., Say, Tahsha E., Stoupin, Daniel, Roper, Kathrein E., Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2019) Pluripotency and the origin of animal multicellularity. Nature, 570 7762: 519-522. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1290-4

  • Sebé-Pedrós, Arnau, Chomsky, Elad, Pang, Kevin, Lara-Astiaso, David, Gaiti, Federico, Mukamel, Zohar, Amit, Ido, Hejnol, Andreas, Degnan, Bernard M. and Tanay, Amos (2018) Early metazoan cell type diversity and the evolution of multicellular gene regulation. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2 7: 1176-1188. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0575-6

  • Gaiti, Federico, Calcino, Andrew D., Tanurdzic, Miloš and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the metazoan non-coding regulatory genome. Developmental Biology, 427 2: 193-202. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.11.013

  • Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Degnan, Bernard M. and Ruiz-Trillo, Inaki (2017) The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective. Nature Reviews Genetics, 18 8: 498-512. doi:10.1038/nrg.2017.21

  • Gaiti, Federico, Jindrich, Katia, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Roper, Kathrein E., Degnan, Bernard M. and Tanurdzic, Milos (2017) Landscape of histone modifications in a sponge reveals the origin of animal cis-regulatory complexity. Elife, 6 . doi:10.7554/eLife.22194

  • Aguilera, Felipe, McDougall, Carmel and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Co-option and de novo gene evolution underlie molluscan shell diversity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 4: 779-792. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw294

  • Hall, Michael R., Kocot, Kevin M., Baughman, Kenneth W., Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Hatleberg, William L. ., Krishnan, Arunkumar, McDougall, Carmel, Motti, Cherie A., Shoguchi, Eiichi, Wang, Tianfang, Xiang, Xueyan, Zhao, Min, Bose, Utpal, Shinzato, Chuya, Hisata, Kanako, Fujie, Manabu, Kanda, Miyuki, Cummins, Scott F., Satoh, Noriyuki, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) The crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a guide for biocontrol of this coral reef pest. Nature, 544 7649: 231-234. doi:10.1038/nature22033

  • Ueda, Nobuo, Richards, Gemma S., Degnan, Bernard M., Kranz, Alexandrea, Adamska, Maja, Croll, Roger P. and Degnan, Sandie M. (2016) An ancient role for nitric oxide in regulating the animal pelagobenthic life cycle: evidence from a marine sponge. Scientific Reports, 6 37546: 37546. doi:10.1038/srep37546

  • Levin, Michal, Anavy, Leon, Cole, Alison G., Winter, Eitan, Mostov, Natalia, Khair, Sally, Senderovich, Naftalie, Kovalev, Ekaterina, Silver, David H., Feder, Martin, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Simmons, David, Simakov, Oleg, Larsson, Tomas, Liu, Shang-Yun, Jerafi-Vider, Ayelet, Yaniv, Karina, Ryan, Joseph F., Martindale, Mark Q., Rink, Jochen C., Arendt, Detlev, Degnan, Sandie M., Degnan, Bernard M., Hashimshony, Tamar and Yanai, Itai (2016) The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans. Nature, 531 7596: 637-+. doi:10.1038/nature16994

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Sogabe, Shunsuke, Hatleberg, William L., Kocot, Kevin M., Say, Tahsha E., Stoupin, Daniel, Roper, Kathrein E., Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2019) Pluripotency and the origin of animal multicellularity. Nature, 570 7762: 519-522. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1290-4

  • Sebé-Pedrós, Arnau, Chomsky, Elad, Pang, Kevin, Lara-Astiaso, David, Gaiti, Federico, Mukamel, Zohar, Amit, Ido, Hejnol, Andreas, Degnan, Bernard M. and Tanay, Amos (2018) Early metazoan cell type diversity and the evolution of multicellular gene regulation. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2 7: 1176-1188. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0575-6

  • Gaiti, Federico, Calcino, Andrew D., Tanurdzic, Miloš and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the metazoan non-coding regulatory genome. Developmental Biology, 427 2: 193-202. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.11.013

  • Sebe-Pedros, Arnau, Degnan, Bernard M. and Ruiz-Trillo, Inaki (2017) The origin of Metazoa: a unicellular perspective. Nature Reviews Genetics, 18 8: 498-512. doi:10.1038/nrg.2017.21

  • Gaiti, Federico, Jindrich, Katia, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Roper, Kathrein E., Degnan, Bernard M. and Tanurdzic, Milos (2017) Landscape of histone modifications in a sponge reveals the origin of animal cis-regulatory complexity. Elife, 6 . doi:10.7554/eLife.22194

  • Aguilera, Felipe, McDougall, Carmel and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Co-option and de novo gene evolution underlie molluscan shell diversity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 4: 779-792. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw294

  • Hall, Michael R., Kocot, Kevin M., Baughman, Kenneth W., Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Hatleberg, William L. ., Krishnan, Arunkumar, McDougall, Carmel, Motti, Cherie A., Shoguchi, Eiichi, Wang, Tianfang, Xiang, Xueyan, Zhao, Min, Bose, Utpal, Shinzato, Chuya, Hisata, Kanako, Fujie, Manabu, Kanda, Miyuki, Cummins, Scott F., Satoh, Noriyuki, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) The crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a guide for biocontrol of this coral reef pest. Nature, 544 7649: 231-234. doi:10.1038/nature22033

  • Ueda, Nobuo, Richards, Gemma S., Degnan, Bernard M., Kranz, Alexandrea, Adamska, Maja, Croll, Roger P. and Degnan, Sandie M. (2016) An ancient role for nitric oxide in regulating the animal pelagobenthic life cycle: evidence from a marine sponge. Scientific Reports, 6 37546: 37546. doi:10.1038/srep37546

  • Levin, Michal, Anavy, Leon, Cole, Alison G., Winter, Eitan, Mostov, Natalia, Khair, Sally, Senderovich, Naftalie, Kovalev, Ekaterina, Silver, David H., Feder, Martin, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Simmons, David, Simakov, Oleg, Larsson, Tomas, Liu, Shang-Yun, Jerafi-Vider, Ayelet, Yaniv, Karina, Ryan, Joseph F., Martindale, Mark Q., Rink, Jochen C., Arendt, Detlev, Degnan, Sandie M., Degnan, Bernard M., Hashimshony, Tamar and Yanai, Itai (2016) The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans. Nature, 531 7596: 637-+. doi:10.1038/nature16994

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Fernandez-Valverde, Selence L. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2018). Early evolution of gene regulatory networks in metazoan development. In: Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), San Francisco, CA, United States, (E63-E63). 3-7 January 2018. doi:10.1093/icb/icy001

  • Hatleberg, W. L., Degnan, S. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2016). One genome, two body plans: how do larval and adult gene expression profiles differ in the sponge WAmphimedon queenslandica?. In: Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), Portland, OR, United States, (E85-E85). 3-7 January 2016.

  • Nakanishi, N., Degnan, S. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2015). Sensory biology of sponge settlement and metamorphosis: towards defining the baseline for nervous system evolution. In: Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), West Palm Beach Fl, (E131-E131). 3-7 January 2015.

  • Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Stoupin, Daniel, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015). Sensory flask cells in sponge larvae regulate metamorphosis via calcium signaling. In: Annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, West Palm Beach, Florida, United States, (1018-1027). 3-7 January 2015. doi:10.1093/icb/icv014

  • Nakanishi, N., Sogabe, S. and Degnan, B. (2013). Metamorphosis in the Demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. In: Meeting Abstracts. Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), San Francisco Ca, (E340-E340). 03-07 January 2013.

  • McDougall, Carmel, Green, Kathryn, Jackson, Daniel J. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2011) Ultrastructure of the mantle of the gastropod Haliotis asinina and mechanisms of shell regionalization. Cells Tissues Organs, 194 2-4: 103-107. doi:10.1159/000324213

  • Kuanpradit, Chitraporn, Cummins, Scott F., Degnan, Bernard M., Sretarugsa, Prapee, Hanna, Peter J., Sobhon, Prasert and Chavadej, Jittipan (2010) Identification of an attractin-like pheromone in the mucus-secreting hypobranchial gland of the abalone haliotis asinina linnaeus. Journal of Shellfish Research, 29 3: 699-704. doi:10.2983/035.029.0321

  • York, Patrick S., Cummins, Scott F., Degnan, Sandie M., Woodcroft, Ben J. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2010). Identification of genes differentially expressed in the ganglia of growing haliotis asinina. In: Peter A. Cook, Journal of Shellfish Research. 7th International Symposium on Abalone Biology, Fisheries and Culture, Pattaya, Thailand, (741-752). 19-24 July 2009. doi:10.2983/035.029.0328

  • Marie, Benjamin, Le Roy, Nathalie, Marie, Arul, Dubost, Lionel, Milet, Christian, Bedouet, Laurent, Becchi, Michel, Zanella-Cleon, Isabelle, Jackson, Daniel, Degnan, Bernard, Luquet, Gilles and Marin, Frédéric (2009). Nacre evolution: A proteomic aproach. In: Structure-Property Relationships in Biomineralized and Biomimetic Composites. 2009 MRS Spring Meeting, , , (3-8). April 14, 2009-April 17, 2009.

  • Richards, G. S. and Degnan, B. M. (2009). The dawn of developmental signaling in the metazoa. In: Bruce Stillman, David J. Stewart and J. A. Witkowski, Evolution: The Molecular Landscape. 74th Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, New York, (81-90). 27 May-1 June 2009. doi:10.1101/sqb.2009.74.028

  • Sellars, M. J., Lyons, R. E., Grewe, P. M., Degnan, B. M. and Preston, N. P. (2007). Isolation of a vasa-like gene from the Kuruma shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus and its differential expression pattern during embryonic, larval and post larval development. In: Aquaculture. 9th International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture, Montpellier France, (S309-S310). Jun 26-30, 2006. doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2007.07.182

  • Degnan, S. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2006). The origin of the metazoan biphasic life cycle: New insights from an ancient phylum. In: Integrative And Comparative Biology: Symposia and Oral Abstracts. SICB Annual Meeting 2006, Orlando, FL, (986-986). January 4-8, 2006. doi:10.1093/icb/45.6.955

  • Adamska, M., Larroux, C., Adamski, M., Fahey, B., Lindquist, E., Richardson, P., Lucas, S., Detter, C., Rokhsar, D. and Degnan, B. (2005). Origin of the animal developmental toolkit: signaling pathways and transcription factors in a sponge. In: , , (S161-S162). .

  • Skilleter, G. A., Walker, S. J., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2004). Haliclona alkaloids, sponge mimics, and the role of allelochemicals in the field. In: 11th International Symposium on Marine Natural Products. 11th International Symposium on Marine Natural Products, Sorrento, (Abstract). Sept, 2004.

  • Roper, K. E., Woods, R., Garson, M. J., Lavin, M. F. and Degnan, B. M. (2004). Microarrays without a backbone: using a boutique ascidian chip in an ecological functional genomics context. In: Lorne Genome Conference. Lorne Genome Conference, Melbourne, (Abstract). February 2004.

  • Rice, T., O'Brien, E. K. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Analysis of differential gene expression during the semi-lunar reproductive cycle of Haliotis asinina. In: J. N. A. Hooper and N. Hall and B. M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (138-138). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Gauthier, M. M., Degnan, B. M. and Ross, I. L. (2003). Antifouling effects of the bryozoan Sinupetraliella litoralis on larvae of the ascidian Herdmania curvata. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (80-80). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • De La Vega, E., Degnan, B. M., Hall, M.A., Cowley, J. A. and Wilson, K. (2003). Application of quantitative real-time RT-PCR to measure the effect of stress on gill-associated virus (GAV) infection levels in Penaeus monodon. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (157-158). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Wade, N. M., Degnan, B. M., Wilson, K., Hall, M. A. and Melville-Smith, R. (2003). Crustacean shell colour formation and the "white" phase of the Western Rock Lobster, Panulirus cygnus. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (158-158). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Degnan, B. M., Leys, S. P., Larroux, C., Liubicich and Hinman, V. F. (2003). Developmental genes in sponges and the antiquity of animal development. In: Integrative and Comparative Biology: SICB 2004 Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, LA, (989-989). 5th - 9th January, 2004.

  • McDougall, C. L., Jackson, D. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Genetic construction and patterning of abalone shells. In: J. N. A. Hooper and N. Hall and B. M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (117-117). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Lucas, T., Selvamani, J.P. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Microsatellites in the tropical abalone: tracking fertilization success and family lines in aquaculture. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (110-110). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Degnan, B. M., Woods, R. F. G., Bebell, L., Roper, K. E. and Lavin, M. F. (2003). Molecular basis of larval development and early metamorphosis in the ascidian Herdmania curvata. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (70-70). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Moss, H. M. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Temperature, development and biogeography of Haliotis asinina. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (123-123). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Walker, S. J., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). The effect of sponge allelochemicals on endofaunal communities: a field test using sponge mimics. In: J. N. A. Hooper and N. Hall and B. M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (159-159). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Roper, K. E., Woods, R., Garson, M. J., Lavin, M. F. and Degnan, B. M. (2003). Using a model system and microarrays to identify conserved molecular targets of marine allelochemicals. In: John N. A. Hooper and Narelle Hall and Bernard M. Degnan, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Australian Marine Sciences Association. Marine Biocomplexity: The 2003 Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, (143-143). 9 - 11 July 2003.

  • Worheide, G., Degnan, B. M., Hopper, J. L. and Reitner, J. (2002). Phylogeography and taxonomy of the Indo-Pacific reef cave dwelling coralline demosponge Astrosclera 'willeyana': new data from nuclear internal transcribed spacer sequences. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium. Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia, (339-345). 23 - 27 October 2000.

  • Green, K., Russell, B. D., Clark, R., Jones, M. K., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2002). Sponge allelochemical induces ascidian development but inhibits metamorphosis. In: 23rd International Conference on Natural Products. 23rd International Conference on Natural Products, Italy, ((Abstract)). July, 2002.

  • Degnan, B. M. (2001). Settlement and metamorphosis of the tropical ascidian Herdmania curvata. In: H. Sawada, H. Yokosawa and C.C. Lambert, The Biology of Ascidians. The First International Symposium on the Biology of Ascidians, Sapporo, Japan, (258-263). 26-30 June, 2000.

  • Green, K., Russell, B. D., Clark, R. J., Jones, M. K., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2001). Sponge alleleochemical induces ascidian settlement but inhibits metamorphosis. In: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. 3rd IUPAC International Conference on Biodiversity, Turkey, (SL-10B-SL-10B). 2001.

  • Clark, R. J., Degnan, B. M., Garson, M. J., Green, K. M., Jones, M. K., Russell, B. D. and Skilleter, G. A. (2001). Sponge allelochemical induces ascidian development but inhibits metamorphosis. In: Abstracts of the World Chemistry Congress 2001. The World Chemistry Congress 2001, Brisbane, Australia, (82-82). 106 July 2001.

  • Garson, M. J., Blunt, J. W., Clark, R., Degnan, B. M., Green, K. M., Munro, M. H., Simpson, J. and Skilleter, G. A. (2000). Marine ecology: The natural approach to finding bioactives. In: Australasian Biotechnological Association Conference. Australasian Biotechnological Association Conference, Brisbane, (). 2-6 July, 2000.

  • Green, K. M., Russell, B. D., Clark, R., Jones, M. K., Skilleter, G. A., Garson, M. J. and Degnan, B. M. (2000). Sponge allelochemical induces ascidian development but inhibits metamorphosis. In: Proceedings of the Pacifichem 2000. Pacifichem 2000, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, (). 14-19 December, 2000.

  • Johnson, C. R., Lewis, T. E., Nichols, D. S. and Degnan, B. M. (1997). Bacterial induction of settlement and metamorphosis in marine invertebrates. In: H. A. Lessios and I. G. Macintyre, 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, California, (1219-1224). June 24-29, 1996.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision