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Research Interests

The Davey Group examines the causative alterations of gene expression which lead to variations in phenotype using comparative anatomy, genomics and embryonic manipulation of avian species. She has expertise in gene expression analysis, particularly the molecular anatomy of the developing limb bud.

My research in a nutshell

Understanding the generation of the patterned embryo from a single fertilised cell has always captured my interest and imagination. The developing limb bud is a classical model for understanding biological networks which regulate embryonic morphogenesis. The research in my group has utilizes naturally occurring polydactylous chicken mutants (which extra toes) to understand how the limb bud is patterned. We are particularly interested in the action of the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) protein. This protein is produced in the cells which will eventually become the little finger and ulna. These cells use SHH to tell the other cells of the developing limb how many fingers and toes to make and what type of finger they should become.

We are interested in understanding the basic principals of embryonic pattern formation and how this is inportant for human and animal health.

Current Research Interests

Our current projects include-

-The description and genetic basis of embryonic tempo

-The embryological origin of radial aplasia

-Fate mapping the limb bud and the control of co-ordinated development of limb anatomy

-Developing novel avian transgenic tools for developmental biology

-The evolution of limb pattern in birds

-The function of TALPID3

 -Improvement of genome annotation



2010-date-  Animal Body1;  Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK

2015-date-  GEP (Embryology Module) Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK

2018-           Anatomy and Development4 (AD4), Biological Sciences

2018-           Cells to Organisms, Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, 

2011-           Chicken Limb Development, MSc Animal Biosciences, The Roslin Institute, UK

2008-           Honours Students and SCC Veterinary Project supervision, University of Edinburgh, UK

Education/Academic qualification

Developmental Biology, Doctor of Science, Hedgehog Signalling in the talpid3 chicken mutant with special reference to vascular development, University of Dundee

… → 2003

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Bachelor of Science, Hypodactyly; evidence that Hoxa13 may control chondrogenesis through cell-cell adhesions, University College London

… → 1997

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

External positions

Secretary , British Society for Developmental Biology

1 Jun 201830 May 2023


  • Q Science (General)
  • development
  • SHH
  • Sonic
  • Joubert
  • limb


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