The mammalian placenta is an unusual organ in that it fulfils the same functions in all species but exhibits a great degree of morphological and develomental diversity. My research has reconstructed the course of evolution of the placenta across hundreds of mammalian species and identified the relationship between morphological diversity and reproductive life history (including the role of the placenta in supporting maternal-fetal immune interactions and fetal brain development). My current research uses a functional phylogenomic approach to identify gene networks and regulatory systems involved in placental diversification with the goal of identifying the evolutionary genetic basis of human placental pathologies such as preeclampsia, hydatiform mole and choriocarcinoma.
- Elliot MG (2016) Oxidative stress and the evolutionary origins of preeclampsia. Journal of Reproductive Immunology 114:75-80 DOI:10.1016/j.jri.2016.02.003.
- Elliot MG and Crespi BJ (2015) Genetic recapitulation of human preeclampsia risk during convergent evolution of reduced placental invasiveness in eutherian mammals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B 370: 20140069 DOI:10.1098/rstb.2014.0069.
- Elliot MG (2015) Identical inferences about correlated evolution arise from ancestral state reconstruction and independent contrasts. Journal of Theoretical Biology 364: 321-325 DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.09.033. Software download page.
- Elliot MG and Mooers AO (2014) Inferring ancestral states without assuming neutrality or gradualism using a stable model of continuous character evolution. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 226-241 DOI:10.1186/s12862-014-0226-8 Software download page.
- Ackerman et al (2014) IFPA Meeting 2013 Workshop Report II: use of 'omics' in understanding placental development, bioinformatics tools for gene expression analysis, planning and coordination of a placenta research network, placental imaging, evolutionary approaches to understanding pre-eclampsia. Placenta 35 Suppl:S10-4 DOI:10.1016/j.placenta.2013.11.011
- Konefal S, Elliot MG and Crespi BJ (2013)
The adaptive significance of adult neurogenesis: an integrative approach.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 7:21
- Dinsdale N, Hurd PL, Wakabayashi A, Elliot MG and Crespi BJ (2013)
How are autism and schizotypy related? Evidence from a non-clinical population.
PLoS ONE 8(5): e63316
- Crosley EJ, Elliot MG, Christians JK, and Crespi BJ (2013)
Placental invasion, preeclampsia risk and adaptive molecular evolution at the origin of great apes: evidence from genome-wide analyses.
Placenta 34(2): 127-132
- Arbuthnott D, Elliot MG, McPeek MA and Crespi BJ (2010)
Divergent patterns of diversification in courtship and genitalic characters of Timema walking-sticks.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23(7): 1399-1411
- Crespi BJ, Stead P and Elliot MG (2010)
Comparative genomics of autism and schizophrenia.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107(S1): 1736-1741
- Elliot MG and Crespi BJ (2009)
Phylogenetic evidence for early hemochorial placentation in Eutheria.
Placenta 30(11): 949-967
- Elliot MG and Crespi BJ (2008)
Placental invasiveness and brain-body allometry in eutherian mammals.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21(6): 1763-1778
- Elliot MG and Crespi BJ (2006)
Placental invasiveness mediates the evolution of hybrid inviability in mammals.
American Naturalist 168(1): 114-120
dirPIC calculates independent contrasts for traits evolving under Brownian motion with directional drift.
StableTraits is software for fitting stable models of character evolution to continuous traits evolving on phylogenetic trees.
C++ code for approximate log PDF of the univariate symmetric stable distribution using cubic interpolation