Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 561 - 565 (2010)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.092908ds
© UPV/EHU Press

Michael Akam and the rise of evolutionary developmental biology

David L. Stern*,1 and Rachel E. Dawes-Hoang2

1Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ and 2Department of Biology, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, USA

ABSTRACT Michael Akam has been awarded the 2007 Kowalevsky medal for his many research accomplishments in the area of evolutionary developmental biology. We highlight three tributaries of Michael’s contribution to evolutionary developmental biology. First, he has made major contributions to our understanding of development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Second, he has maintained a consistent focus on several key problems in evolutionary developmental biology, including the evolving role of Hox genes in arthropods and, more recently, the evolution of segmentation mechanisms. Third, Michael has written a series of influential reviews that have integrated progress in developmental biology into an evolutionary perspective. Michael has also made a large impact on the field through his effective mentorship style, his selfless promotion of younger colleagues, and his leadership of the University Museum of Zoology at Cambridge and the European community of evolutionary developmental biologists.

Keywords:

Michael Akam, Kowalevsky Medal, Evolutionary Developmental Biology

*Corresponding author e-mail: dstern@princeton.edu