Kevin J. Peterson

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Biological Sciences

  • Professor in the Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems and Society Graduate Program

  • Adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences

The explosive rise of animals 530 million years ago is among the few major events in the history of life combining the evolution of novel developmental regulatory circuitry in the context of unique environmental circumstances. This ‘Cambrian explosion’ is the primary focus of my laboratory, and the cause(s) of the origin of animal body plans and their later ecological success drives our current research.


Life Sciences Center, Room 321
HB 6044


  • B.A. Carroll College
  • Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Selected Publications

  • Fromm. B., Domanska, D., Hackenberg, M., Mathelier, A., Hoye, E., Johansen, M., Hovig, E., Flatmark, K., and Peterson, K.J.  MirGeneDB2.0: the curated microRNA Gene Database (submitted)

  • Ramaiah, M., Tan, K., Plank, T.M., Song, H.W., Dumdie, J.N., Jones, S., Shum, E.Y., Sheridan, S.D., Peterson, K.J., Gromoll, J., Haggarty, S.J., Cook-Andersen, H., Wilkinson, M.F.. (2019)  A microRNA cluster in the Fragile-X region expressed during spermatogenesis targets FMR1. EMBO Rep. Feb;20(2):e46566

  • Robinson, J. M., Sperling, E. A., Bergum, B., Adamski, M., Nichols, S. A., Adamska, M., and Peterson, K. J. (2013). The identification of microRNAs in calcisponges: independent evolution of microRNAs in basal metazoans. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 320B 84-93.

  • Tarver, J. E., Donoghue, P. C. J., and Peterson, K. J. (2012). Do miRNAs have a deep evolutionary history? Bioessays 34, 857-866.

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