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Christopher Rose


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Christopher Rose
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B.S. - McMaster University
M.S. - University of Victoria
Ph.D. - Harvard University

Office Hours    |  Curriculum vitae  |   Personal web page

Courses:   Animal Development (BIO 316), Animal Development Lab (BIO 316L), Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates (BIO 320), Biology in the Movies (HON 200), Current Topics in Human Development and Evolution (BIO 451), Scientific writing, presentation and critical thinking (BIO 491), Scientific Perspectives (GSCI 104)

Research Interests:  The development and evolution of amphibians.My research is on the development and evolution of amphibian morphology. I am interested in amphibians for a variety of reasons. Many exhibit a metamorphosis, or dramatic change in body form, that is regulated by thyroid hormone. They also have a relatively simple skeleton, much of which persists as cartilage throughout life. Their aquatic larval stages have multiple organs for gas exchange, which means that amphibians, unlike other tetrapods, can vary the onset and extent of lung use and lung development to suit their ecological needs.

Four current research projects are on the formation, growth and postembryonic development of cranial skeleton, lungs and tails in amphibians. One project is to quantify how the individual bones and cartilages in the skulls of different species of salamanders and frogs change in shape and size as the animals grow and metamorphose. A second is to understand how the growth and shape change of cranial cartilages in one frog species (Xenopus laevis) is controlled at the level of cell behaviors like cell division and cell death and changes in cell size and shape. A third project addresses how the onset of breathing in amphibian larvae affects the development of the internal chambers of the lung and a fourth investigates the development of tail curvature in tadpoles and how this trait might vary in response to lung use and feeding style. The unifying theme of my research is to better understand how cell and tissue properties and behaviors contribute to organ growth and development in animals that develop first into larvae specialized for life in water and then transform into adults specialized for life on land.

I also teach and write about the role of popular culture and movies in teaching biology, and the role of biology-inspired design in teaching engineering.

Rose, C.S., D. Murawinski and V. Horne. 2015. Deconstructing cartilage shape and size into contributions from embryogenesis, metamorphosis and tadpole and frog growth. J. Anat. 226: 575-595 (doi: 10.1111/joa 12303).

Rose, C.S. 2014. The importance of cartilage to amphibian development and evolution. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 58: 917-927 (doi: 10.1387/ijdb.150053cr).

Rose, C.S. 2014. Caging, but not air deprivation, slows tadpole growth and development in the amphibian Xenopus laevis. J. Exp. Zool. 321A: 365-375.

Rose, C.S. and B. James. 2013. Plasticity of lung development in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis. Biology Open 2(12): 1324-1335 (doi:10.1242/bio.20133772).

Rose, C.S. 2009. Generating, growing and transforming skeletal shape: insights from amphibian pharyngeal arch cartilages. BioEssays 31: 287-299.

Rose, C.S. 2008. Review of “Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment” Robert G.B. Reid. Integrative and Comparative Biology 48:871-873.

Rose, C.S. 2007. Biology in the movies: Using the double-edged sword of popular culture to enhance public understanding of science. Evol. Biol. 34: 49-54.

Wang, Y. and C.S. Rose. 2005. Jeholotriton paradoxus (Amphibian: Caudata) from the Lower Cretaceous of 
Southeastern Inner Mongolia, China. J. Vertebrate Paleontol. 25(3): 523-532.

Rose, C.S. 2005. Integrating ecology and developmental biology to explain the timing of frog metamorphosis. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20: 129-135.

Rose, C.S. 2003. Thyroid hormone mediated development in vertebrates: What makes frogs unique? In: Environment, Development and Evolution, Toward a Synthesis, G. B. Müller, B. K. Hall, R. D. Pearson, eds. Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology. Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 197-237.

Rose, C.S. 2003. The developmental morphology of salamander skulls. In: Amphibian Biology, Vol. 5. Osteology, H. Heatwole and M Davies, ed., Australia: Surrey Beatty and Sons Pty. Ltd., pp. 1686-1783.

Rose, C.S. 2003. How to teach biology using the movie science of cloning people, resurrecting the dead, and combining flies and humans. Public Understand. Sci. 12: 289-296.