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Dr. Lauren Sumner-Rooney

Dr. Lauren Sumner-Rooney
  • Teaching

    University of Oxford (2017-2021).  Tutor for Biological Sciences: ecology and evolution, diversity of life, evolution and development of animals; careers and exam advice.  Convenor of two first-year practical sessions (comparative morphology) and a two-week research skills course for second-year students (digital morphology). Demonstrator for first-year dissection course (invertebrate zoology). Approved assessor for undergraduate research projects and final-year assignments.

    PhD supervision: Currently co-supervising three students at the University of Bristol and Oxford Brookes University.

  • Publications

    *Lab members in bold

    Baudouin Gonzalez L, Harper A, McGregor AP, Sumner-Rooney L. 2022. Regulation of eye determination and regionalisation in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Cells. doi.org/10.3390/cells11040631

    Harper A, Baudouin Gonzalez L, Schönauer A, Seiter M, Holzem M, Arif S, McGregor AP, Sumner-Rooney L. 2021. Widespread retention of ohnologs in key developmental gene families following WGD in arachnopulmonates. Genes, Genomes, Genetics. doi.org/10.1093/g3journal/jkab299

    Sumner-Rooney L, Kirwan JD, Lüter C, Ullrich-Lüter E. 2021. Run and hide: visual performance in the brittle star Ophiomastix wendtiiJournal of Experimental Biology. doi.org/10.1242/jeb.236653

    Sigwart JD, Sumner-Rooney L. 2021. Continuous and regular expansion of a distributed visual system in the eyed chiton Tonicia lebruniBiological Bulletin. doi.org/10.1086/712114.

    Brodrick EA, Roberts NW, Sumner-Rooney L, Schlepütz CM, How MJ. 2020. Adaptation mechanisms in the eyes of the fiddler crab Afruca tangeri. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 529, 3:616-634.

    Sumner-Rooney L, Kirwan JD, Lowe E, Ullrich-Lüter EM. 2020. Extraocular vision in a brittle star is mediated by chromatophore movement in response to ambient light. Current Biology. 30:1-9.

    Sumner-Rooney L. 2018. The kingdom of the blind: disentangling fundamental drivers in the evolution of eye loss. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 58, 3:372-385.

    Sumner-Rooney L, Sigwart JD. 2018. Do chitons have a brain? New evidence for diversity and complexity in the polyplacophoran central nervous system. Journal of Morphology. 279, 7:936-949.

    Sumner-Rooney L, Rahman IA, Sigwart JD, Ullrich-Lüter E. 2018. Whole body photoreceptor networks are independent of ‘lenses’ in brittle stars. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 285:20172590.

    Sumner-Rooney L, Sigwart JD, McAfee J, Smith L, Williams ST. 2016. Repeated eye reduction events reveal multiple pathways to degeneration in a family of marine snails. Evolution. 70, 10: 2268-2295.

    Sumner-Rooney L, Sigwart JD. 2015. Is the Schwabe organ a larval eye? Anatomical and behavioural studies of a novel sense organ in Leptochiton asellus (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) indicate links to larval photoreceptors. PLoS ONE. 10:9. e0137119.

  • Projects

    • Functional evolution of vision in many-eyed systems (focus on spiders and molluscs)
    • Extraocular photoreception and vision (focus on echinoderms)
    • Digital morphology and imaging methods
    • Eye loss and its evolution
    • Impacts of light pollution on visual ecology
  • Curriculum Vita

    2021-Date Emmy Noether Junior Group Leader, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

    2017-2021 Research Fellow, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, University of Oxford.

    2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.
    Host: Prof. Carsten Lüter

    2015-2016 Research assistant and science communicator, Royal Veterinary College, London.
    Line manager: Prof. John Hutchinson

    2012-2015 PhD student, Queen’s University Belfast.
    Supervisor: Dr. Julia Sigwart

  • Research

    My research group studies the structure, function and evolution of animal visual systems, with a focus on many-eyed organsims such as molluscs, spiders and echinoderms. Our group uses a combination of digital morphology, neuroethology, evo-devo and comparative phylogenetic methods to study how and why animals use more than two eyes, and how these unusual visual systems evolve. Other research interests include the evolution of eye loss in dark habitats, the impacts of artificial light on visual ecology, and invertebrate neuroanatomy.

    Read more about the MultiplEye lab group.