We are interested in understanding how developing embryos regulate their exposure to maternal steroids and environmental chemicals. A variety of egg-laying vertebrates are used to study this topic (birds, reptiles, fish). Our primary focus is on how developing extra-embryonic membranes regulate embryonic exposure to compounds found in the yolk.
Thus far, we have discovered that the extra-embryonic membranes of egg-laying vertebrates (specifically amniotes) are capable of metabolizing steroids in the yolk before they reach the embryo. Ultimately this metbaolism of maternal steroids is very similar to how the placenta metabolizes maternal steroids in placental amniotes (see figure below).
To see some of the research questions we are tackling at the moment, please click on the research tab.
If you would like more information or are interested in joining the group, my contact information can be found here.