Scott Gilbert


Scott.Gilbert -at-

Scott F. Gilbert, Finland Distinguished Professor, looks at the question of how the turtle evolved and develops its shell. Using in situ hybridization and new cell and organ culture techniques, his group is studying how the turtle develops 59 bones found in no other clade of organisms. The carapace project looks at how paracrine factors such as Fgfs re-direct the developing ribs into the dermis and how the rib becomes the signalling center for the ossification of the dorsal dermis. The plastron project studies how the bones of the ventral shell may be derived from trunk neural crest cells that have regained skeletogenic properties. They are also investigating how the scutes of turtles form on the shell and grow in a coordinated fashion. Scott also has an appointment at Swarthmore College (USA), and has an electronic avatar who has written three textbooks: Developmental Biology, Ecological Developmental Biology, and Bioethics and the New Embryology. Occasionally, they meet, as in this rare photograph.