Dr Donald Davesne a palaeobiologist and systematist working on the assembly of modern biodiversity, the reconstruction of phylogenies (the evolutionary trees) and the evolution of morphological traits in organisms. He specialises on teleosts, a group of ray-finned fishes that represents more than half of extant vertebrates.
Davesne came ot Oxford following a PhD at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, on spiny-rayed fish evolution. His current three-year project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, aims at a better understanding of the link between genotype and phenotype, by investigating the timing and pattern of genome duplication in the fossil relatives of modern teleosts. The study involves cutting-edge three-dimensional techniques of bone histology as well as comparative phylogenetic methods.