Professor Bernard Degnan

UQ Development Fellow

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

Overview

Bernie Degnan teaches and leads a research group in the School of Biological Sciences. He is currently Acting Director of the Centre for Marine Science.

Research Interests

  • Genomes, Development & Evolution
    We are interested in the genomic, cellular and developmental mechanisms that underpin the formation and evolution of animals. Our lab studies a wide range of marine invertebrates, some that have traits of economic and environmental value and others that act as models to address fundamental questions in biology and biomedicine.
  • 1. The origin of animal complexity
    The genome orchestrates the formation and maintenance of animal body plans. We seek to understand the nature and origin of the genomic rules governing animal multicellularity and complexity. Our studies largely focus on a simple marine sponge, and current research efforts include the analysis of development, stem cells and regeneration.
  • 2. Marine invertebrate biology
    We have an interest in the life cycles of coral reef invertebrates, and currently study a range of phenomena from molecular, cellular and developmental perspectives. This includes developing and applying genomic and proteomic tools to problems in the marine environment such as biocontrol of pest species (e.g. crown-of-thorns starfish).
  • 3. Functional genomics and evolution of biomineralization
    The instructions to fabricate shells and skeletons of phenomenal strength, purity and beauty are encoded in the genomes of a wide range of animals. We investigate how genes and their products come together to direct the formation and patterning of the biominerals that build these structures. Some of these projects are in collaboration with industry partners with interests in the fabrication of materials of commercial value.

Qualifications

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

Publications

  • 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

  • Grice, Laura F., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Roper, Kathrein E., Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 5: 1083-1099. doi:10.1093/molbev/msx058

  • 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

  • Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2016) Bilaterian-like promoters in the highly compact Amphimedon queenslandica genome. Scientific Reports, 6 Art No.: 22496: . doi:10.1038/srep22496

  • Gaiti, Federico, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Calcino, Andrew D., Yanai, Itai, Tanurdzic, Milos and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015) Dynamic and Widespread lncRNA Expression in a Sponge and the Origin of Animal Complexity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32 9: 2367-2382. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv117

View all Publications

Publications

Featured Publications

  • 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

  • Grice, Laura F., Gauthier, Marie E. A., Roper, Kathrein E., Fernàndez-Busquets, Xavier, Degnan, Sandie M. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017) Origin and evolution of the sponge aggregation factor gene family. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34 5: 1083-1099. doi:10.1093/molbev/msx058

  • 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

  • Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2016) Bilaterian-like promoters in the highly compact Amphimedon queenslandica genome. Scientific Reports, 6 Art No.: 22496: . doi:10.1038/srep22496

  • Gaiti, Federico, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Calcino, Andrew D., Yanai, Itai, Tanurdzic, Milos and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015) Dynamic and Widespread lncRNA Expression in a Sponge and the Origin of Animal Complexity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32 9: 2367-2382. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv117

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision