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André Green II

Graduate Student


As an undergraduate at MIT, I took a grand tour of biology and biological engineering labs—stop one working on the genetic basis of hematopoietic stem cell pluripotency in mice; the second as a member of MIT’s 2006 iGEM team using nascent synthetic biology approaches to reprogram bacterial odor (mint- and banana-smelling E. coli, anyone?); and finally studying the RNA-protein interactions involved in Dengue virus translation—before recognizing that evolution was my main draw to biology. Broadly, I am interested in the emergence and evolution of “functional” complexity across the different scales of biological organization i.e. molecules, cells and organisms. As work in evolution grows highly interdisciplinary, I hope that “knowing a little about a thing or two” will come in handy in my graduate studies in the Extavour Lab.

I will interrogate the molecular genetic basis of counting among groups of cells using a combination of developmental genetic and systems approaches. The model for this work is that of interspecific variation in ovariole number among the Drosophilids, of particular interest to us D. melanogaster and D. sechellia.

I am a fourth-year graduate student in the MCO Graduate Training Program in the MCB Department, and hold a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis on April 21, 2014. See photos of the champagne toasts here.


Donoughe, S., Nakamura, T., Ewen-Campen, B., Green II, D.A., Henderson, L. and Extavour, C.G. BMP signalling is required for generation of primordial germ cells in an insect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111(11): 4133-4138 (2014).

Green II, D.A. and Extavour, C.G. Insulin Signaling Underlies Both Plasticity and Divergence of a Reproductive Trait in Drosophila. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1779): 20132673 (2014). * Read more in the Harvard Gazette

Green II, D.A., and Extavour, C.G. Convergent Evolution of a Reproductive Trait Through Distinct Developmental Mechanisms in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 372(1): 120-130 (2012).

Sarikaya, D.P., Belay, A.A., Ahuja, A., Green II, D.A., Dorta, A. and Extavour, C.G. The roles of cell size and cell number in determining ovariole number in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 363: 279-289 (2011).

Green II, D.A.*, Sarikaya, D.P.* and Extavour, C. Counting in oogenesis. Cell and Tissue Research 344(2): 207-212 (2011). (* equal author contribution)