Professor Bernard Degnan

Director CMS & Professor

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 range of coral reef invertebrates, some that have economic or 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

  • Wong, Emily S., Zheng, Dawei, Tan, Siew Z., Bower, Neil L., Garside, Victoria, Vanwalleghem, Gilles, Gaiti, Federico, Scott, Ethan, Hogan, Benjamin M., Kikuchi, Kazu, McGlinn, Edwina, Francois, Mathias and Degnan, Bernard M. (2020). Deep conservation of the enhancer regulatory code in animals. Science, 370 (6517) 681, 1-9. doi: 10.1126/science.aax8137

  • de Mendoza, Alex, Hatleberg, William L., Pang, Kevin, Leininger, Sven, Bogdanovic, Ozren, Pflueger, Jahnvi, Buckberry, Sam, Technau, Ulrich, Hejnol, Andreas, Adamska, Maja, Degnan, Bernard M., Degnan, Sandie M. and Lister, Ryan (2019). Convergent evolution of a vertebrate-like methylome in a marine sponge. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3 (10), 1464-1473. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0983-2

  • 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

  • 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 e22194. 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, 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), 637-641. doi: 10.1038/nature16994

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Wong, Emily S., Zheng, Dawei, Tan, Siew Z., Bower, Neil L., Garside, Victoria, Vanwalleghem, Gilles, Gaiti, Federico, Scott, Ethan, Hogan, Benjamin M., Kikuchi, Kazu, McGlinn, Edwina, Francois, Mathias and Degnan, Bernard M. (2020). Deep conservation of the enhancer regulatory code in animals. Science, 370 (6517) 681, 1-9. doi: 10.1126/science.aax8137

  • de Mendoza, Alex, Hatleberg, William L., Pang, Kevin, Leininger, Sven, Bogdanovic, Ozren, Pflueger, Jahnvi, Buckberry, Sam, Technau, Ulrich, Hejnol, Andreas, Adamska, Maja, Degnan, Bernard M., Degnan, Sandie M. and Lister, Ryan (2019). Convergent evolution of a vertebrate-like methylome in a marine sponge. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3 (10), 1464-1473. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0983-2

  • 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

  • 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 e22194. 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, 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), 637-641. doi: 10.1038/nature16994

Book Chapter

  • Borchiellini, Carole, Degnan, Sandie M., Le Goff, Emilie, Rocher, Caroline, Vernale, Amélie, Baghdiguian, Stephen, Séjourne, Nina, Marschal, Florent, Le Bivic, André, Godefroy, Nelly, Degnan, Bernard M. and Renard, Emmanuelle (2021). Staining and tracking methods for studying sponge cell dynamics. Developmental biology of the sea urchin and other marine invertebrates. (pp. 81-98) edited by David J. Carroll and Stephen A. Stricker. New York, United States: Springer .

  • Borchiellini, Carole, Degnan, Sandie M., Le Goff, Emilie, Rocher, Caroline, Vernale, Amélie, Baghdiguian, Stephen, Séjourné, Nina, Marschal, Florent, Le Bivic, André, Godefroy, Nelly, Degnan, Bernard M. and Renard, Emmanuelle (2020). Staining and Tracking Methods for Studying Sponge Cell Dynamics. Methods in Molecular Biology. (pp. 81-97) New York, NY United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0974-3_5

  • Kocot, Kevin M., McDougal, Carmel and Degnan, Bernard M. (2017). Developing perspectives on molluscan shells, part 1: introduction and molecular biology. Physiology of molluscs: a collection of selected reviews. (pp. 1-42) edited by Saber Saleuddin and Spencer Mukai. New York, NY, United States: Apple Academic Press. doi: 10.1201/9781315207483

  • Kocot, Kevin M., McDougall, Carmel and Degnan, Bernard M. (2016). Developing perspectives on molluscan shells part 1: introduction and molecular biology. Physiology of molluscs: a collection of selected reviews. (pp. 1-41) edited by Saber Saleuddin and Spencer Mukai. New Jersey, NY, United States: Apple Academic Press.

  • Grice, Laura F. and Degnan, Bernard M. (2015). How to build an allorecognition system: a guide for prospective multicellular Organisms. Evolutionary transitions to multicellular life. (pp. 395-424) edited by Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo and Aurora M. Nedelcu. New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-9642-2_19

  • Degnan, Bernard M., Adamska, Maja, Richards, Gemma S., Larroux, Claire, Leininger, Sven, Bergum, Brith, Calcino, Andrew, Taylor, Karin, Nakanishi, Nagayasu and Degnan, Sandie M. (2015). Porifera. Evolutionary developmental biology of invertebrates 1: introduction, non-bilateria, acoelomorpha, xenoturbellida, chaetognatha. (pp. 65-106) edited by Andreas Wanninger. Vienna, Austria: Springer Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-1862-7

  • Watson, Jabin, Degnan, Bernard, Degnan, Sandie and Krömer, Jens O. (2014). Determining the biomass composition of a sponge holobiont for flux analysis. In Jens O. Krömer, Lars K. Nielsen and Lars M. Blank (Ed.), Metabolic flux analysis: methods and protocols (pp. 107-125) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-1170-7_7

  • Bernard M. Degnan, Adamska, Maja, Craigie, Alina, Degnan, Sandie M., Fahey, Bryony, Gauthier, Marie, Hooper, John N. A., Larroux, Claire, Leys, Sally P., Lovas, Erica and Richards, Gemma S. (2009). The Demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica: Reconstructing the ancestral metazoan genome and deciphering the origin of animal multicellularity. Emerging Model Organisms: A Laboratory Manual. (pp. 139-166) edited by Gann, Alexander and Crotty, David. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  • Wanninger, Andreas, Koope, Demian, Moshel-Lynch, Sharon and Degnan, Bernard M. (2008). Molluscan Evolutionary Development. Phylogeny and Evolution of the Mollusca. (pp. 427-444) edited by Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg. United States: University of California Press.

  • Degnan, B. M., Counihan, R. T., O'Brien, E. K., Selvamani, M. J. P. and Preston, N. P. (1998). Molecular analysis of abalone growth and reproduction: utility of the tropical abalone Haliotis asinina as a model species. Agricultural Biotechnology: Laboratory, Field and Market. (pp. 248-250) edited by P. J. Larkin. Canberra, Australia: UTC Publishing.

  • Selvamani, M. J. P., Counihan, R. T., van Heumen, W. R. A., Jebreen, E. J., Preston, N. P. and Degnan, B. M. (1998). Regulation of reproduction in a tropical abalone Haliotis asinina: expression of a prohormone convertase gene in the central nervous system. Proceedings of the Australian Coral Reef Society: 75th Anniversary, Heron Island, October, 1997. (pp. 119-124) edited by J. G. Greenwood and N. J. Hall. Brisbane, Australia: School of Marine Science, The University of Queensland.

  • Counihan, R. T., Preston, N. P. and Degnan, B. M. (1998). The tropical abalone Haliotis asinina as a model species to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling growth in abalone. New Developments in Marine Biotechnology. (pp. 135-140) edited by Y. Le Gal and H. Halvorson. New York: Plenum Press.

  • Degnan, B. M. (1997). Molecular analysis of invertebrate development and growth: identification of developmentally-regulated genes in model and commercially important species. Molecular Approaches to the Study of the Ocean. (pp. 343-358) edited by K. E. Cooksey. London: Chapman and Hall.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision