Form and Function

Form of a body part is related to its function and is influneced by phylogeny and environmental factors. We aim at deciphering these relationships in different models, especially for the sea urchin spines and the morphology of symbionts. We study the phenotypic plasticity of sea urchin spines and showed that this plasticity would have both passive and adaptative components. In the case of the particular spines of cidaroid sea urchins, we investigate the relationships between their external morphology and structure and the associated epibionts.