Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research at PCOM
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Comparative Anatomy in Nature

Organismal biology research at PCOM

Organismal and Evolutionary Biology 
Research at PCOM

Evolution is the guiding force that generates the particular anatomy and physiology of every species.

Studies of evolutionary biology help us to understand the mechanisms directing the development and divergence of species, and how changing ecosystems impact the genetic regulation of form and function, health and disease, survival and reproduction.

What is Organismal Biology?

Organismal biology is a branch of biology that focuses on the study of whole organisms and their functions. It seeks to understand how individual organisms operate, survive and interact with their environment. Organismal biologists study a wide range of living things, from microscopic bacteria to plants, insects, animals and humans. They investigate topics like how organisms obtain and use energy, how they grow and reproduce, how they respond to the environment around them and how they interact with other living creatures. By studying the characteristics and behaviors of different organisms, organismal biologists seek understand larger ecological systems, as well as find valuable information for other fields or research such as medicine, conservation and agriculture.

What is Evolutionary Biology?

Evolutionary biology is the scientific study of how living organisms have changed and diversified over time. It examines the processes and patterns of biological evolution, focusing on the origin, adaptation and relationships of species. By investigating genetic variation, natural selection and other evolutionary forces, evolutionary biology provides insights into how living creatures develop and diversify on Earth.

Evolutionary Biology Research at PCOM

PCOM's interdisciplinary group of researchers studies multiple subfields of comparative vertebrate morphology, including biodiversity and systematics (nomenclature and relationships), evolutionary developmental biology, paleobiology (anthropology and paleontology) and physiology. Faculty and student investigators utilize model organisms to understand factors that both drive and impact the divergence and evolution of many species, including humans.

Our Faculty Researchers

Anatomy professor Kerin Claeson, PhD, spent six weeks with researchers in Antarctica to explore the evolution of late Cretaceous species.

PCOM's Dr. Klaeson Visits Antarctica for Evolutionary Research Trip

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PCOM's Dr. Klaeson Visits Antarctica for Evolutionary Research Trip portrait

Research at PCOM

PCOM aims to develop innovative approaches to promoting health through basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research projects.