Laurent is a joint postdoc with Dan Rokhsar’s lab (UC Berkeley). Laurent is working on his favorite group of animals, the bizarre echinoderms, and tries to understand how their unique pentaradial body plan is related to the ancestral bilateral body plan of other deuterostomes. To do so, he is using several echinoderm species for comparative approaches combining molecular biology and bioinformatics. Before joining the Lowe lab, Laurent obtained a PhD from Sorbonne University (France), during which he worked on the development and evolution of the nervous system in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, and on the roles of intercellular signaling pathways in this process. As part of his PhD, Laurent spent one year at the Shimoda Marine Research Center (Japan). Laurent is broadly fascinated by developmental biology, by the evolution of body plans, nervous systems and life history stages, and by zoological studies of weird animals in general.