Martin Rücklin

Martin Rücklin

I am a palaeobiologist interested in the evolution and development of life. Hypotheses from biological sciences propose that the evolution of life is driven towards increasing complexity by key innovations. As a model for this I study the origin and evolution of jaws and teeth and the dermal skeleton. Using mainly non-invasive X-ray microscopy I reconstruct the histology of tissue types and growth of structures.

Keywords

Palaeobiology, evolution and development, vertebrates, X-ray computed tomography, jaws and teeth, dermal skeleton, Placoderms, Devonian

Dr. Martin Rücklin

Senior researcher and joint research group leader
Endless forms

martin.rucklin@naturalis.nl
+31 (0)71 751 9247

Research
interest

The evolution of jaws and teeth.

 

Contrary to traditional hypotheses I demonstrated that the first teeth evolved in placoderms, the sister group to all living jawed vertebrates. In my current research on the evolution of jaws and teeth, supported by a Vidi grant from NWO, I test hypotheses on the evolution of tooth replacement in jawed vertebrates, especially in osteichthyans. In my team we investigate the evolution of complexity using dental complexity as a model, we investigate the evolution of modularity of vertebrate jaws and the evolution of dental gene-regulation using computational models.

Martin Ruecklin Dunkleosteus terelli
Reconstruction of the development of teeth in the jaw of Compagopiscis.

Current topics

Projects me and my team are working on currently.

Micro-CT-scanner-Naturalis

Evolution of tooth replacement in jawed vertebrates

Vidi project ‘Deep-time evolution of vertebrate jaws and teeth’. Our understanding of the evolution of teeth and their replacement is traditionally based on the most basal living jawed vertebrates, the chondrichthyans. This approach ignores the hundreds of…
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Acanthodian

Evolution and development of dental complexity

Vidi project ‘Deep-time evolution of vertebrate jaws and teeth’. In evolutionary and developmental biology, an increasing complexity of morphology of organs, tissue types and genomes during evolutionary time is postulated. In dental morphology and…
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Outcrop-Morocco

Early vertebrate morphology and evolution

Since my master’s project and PhD at Tübingen University I work on early vertebrates and in particular placoderms. Early vertebrates constitute a perfect model to test hypotheses from palaeobiogeography, phylogeny and evolutionary biology. In Palaeozoic…
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Key
publications

  • Donoghue, P. C. J. & Rücklin, M. 2016. The ins and outs of the evolutionary origin of teeth. Evolution & Development 18:1, 19-30.

  • Giles, S., Rücklin, M. & Donoghue, P.C.J. 2013. Histology of the placoderm dermal skeleton: implications for the nature of the ancestral gnathostome. Journal of Morphology 274: 627-644.

  • Rücklin, M., Donoghue, P.C.J., Johanson, Z., Trinajstic, K., Marone, F. & Stampanoni, M. 2012. Development of teeth and jaws in the earliest jawed vertebrates. Nature 491: 748-751.

  • Rücklin, M., Giles, S., Janvier, P. & Donoghue, P.C.J. 2011. Teeth before jaws? Comparative analysis of the structure and development of the external and internal scales in the extinct jawless vertebrate Loganellia scotica. Evolution & Development 13: 523-532.

All publications on GoogleScholar

PhD
supervision

 

    Wenjing Yi - Leiden University - Main supervisor: Prof. Michael Richardson; Co-supervisor: Martin Rücklin

    We welcome new PhD students or postdoctoral researchers in my team. Get in contact to discuss possibilities.

    Experiment at the synchrotron in Switzerland

    Former lab members and
    PhD students

    • Dr Aidan Couzens - former postdoctoral researcher in Vidi project 'jaws and teeth' working on the evolution of dental complexity - now postdoc at University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    • Dr Sebastien Enault - former postdoctoral researcher - now Kraniata - skeletal preparation
    • Dr Linda Frey - PhD May 2019 at University of Zürich- co-supervisor M. Rücklin
    • Floortje Mossou - former research assistant

    Teaching
    activities

    • Honours class 'Crisis in Biology' - Leiden University - 2018-present
    • Palaeobiology - Leiden University, MSc course - 2018-present
    • Evolutionary biology - Leiden University, 2nd year BSc - 2017-present
    • Zoology and developmental biology, Vertebrate evolution and vertebrate skeleton – Leiden University, BSc – 2013-present
    • Methods in Biodiversity - Leiden University, MSc - 2016-2017
    • Tomography and 3D visualization of (palaeo)biological tissues – Naturalis – 2015 - present
    • Evolution and development course – Leiden University, MSc – 2017-present
    • Vertebrate Evolution and Palaeobiology – University of Bristol – 2011-2012
    • 3D imaging techniques – University of Bristol – 2009-2011
    • Frontiers in Earth Sciences – University of Bristol – 2009
    • Access to Bristol – University of Bristol – 2009-2011

    Me and my team supervise BSc and MSc internships. Get in contact to discuss possibilities.

    Publicaties