Dr Oliver Tills - (Oliver Tills)
Qualifications & background
PhD Marine Science
MRes Marine Biology
BSc Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology
Using embryos of the freshwater pond snail,Radix balthica, we are investigating variation in the timing of a suite of key physiological, behavioural and morphological developmental events. To date we have revealed that embryos which are more closely related (genetically) have more similar developmental event timing, suggesting that this within species variation has a genetic basis.
To facilitate this research we have developed unique automated high resolution imaging systems which allows to video the entire embryonic development of up to 384 aquatic embryos simultaneously. This system produces high resolution video of an embryo's development and allows to pinpoint the precise timing of developmental events in large numbers of embryos. These imaging systems are facilitating us addressing questions relating to the place of variation in developmental timing in evolution.
See http://vimeo.com/channels/embryonicdevelopment for videos of developing aquatic embryos produced in our lab.
Tills, O., Spicer, J. & Rundle, S. 2010. Salinity-induced heterokairy in an upper-estuarine population of the snail Radix balthica(Mollusca: Pulmonata). Aquatic Biology 9: 95–105.
Tills, O., Rundle, S.D., Salinger, M., Haun, T., Pfenninger, M. & Spicer, J.I. 2011. A genetic basis for intraspecific differencesin developmental timing? Evolution & Development 13(6): 542–548.
Spicer, J.I., Rundle, S.D. & Tills, O. 2011. Studying the alteredtiming of physiological events during development: It's about time... or is it? Respiratory physiology & neurobiology 178(1): 3–12.
Tills, O., Bitterli, T., Culverhouse, P. Spicer, J.I. & Rundle, S.D. 2013. A novel application of motion analysis for detecting stress responses in embryos at different stages of development. BMC Bioinformatics 14(1) 37-.
Tills, O., Rundle, S.D. & Spicer J.I. 2013. Parent-offspring similarity in the timing of developmental events: an origin of heterochrony? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 280(1769).
Tills, O., Rundle, S.D. & Spicer, J.I. Variance in developmental event timing is greatest at low biological levels: implications for heterochrony. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, in press.
Other academic activities
Links Videos of developing aquatic embryos produced in our lab
Videos of developing aquatic embryos produced in our lab