1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · People

Mr. James Lowe

Egenis Research Student


01392 725142


01392 724676






Byrne House


An Exeter graduate in Biological Sciences (2006), I returned to the University of Exeter in October 2009 after working in secondary education and a pharmaceutical testing laboratory. As part the MA course in History and Philosophy of Biology, I pursued work on the origins of life, the early Royal Society (using the epistemology of Ludwik Fleck) and the Modern Synthesis. In addition to this, the MA provoked an interest in genetics and development, which has inspired and fed into my current PhD work. I began my PhD in October 2011 under the supervision of Dr Staffan Müller-Wille and Dr Sabina Leonelli.

Research Interests

My main interest is the history of the biological sciences from Darwin to the early decades of the 20th century. My current research focuses on changes, practices and problems in late 19th century morphology and embryology, with a particular focus on the career of Edmund Beecher Wilson.

At the heart of my work is an examination of the shifting concerns and questions tackled by Wilson, how he tackled those problems and presented his interpretations of development. Locating the roots of Wilson’s entry into experimental work in embryology in comparative evolutionary morphology, I am researching how Wilson reacted to and investigated variation in early development, how Wilson’s work gave rise to a particular concept of ‘normal development’, and the consequences of this for his future work.

I am fascinated with current developments in genetics and development, and the interface between them.


‘“Normal development” in the biological sciences’, SSIS PGR Conference, University of Exeter, 3-4 May 2012.

Research Experience

October 2012 to present – Research Assistant to Dr Sabina Leonelli, Egenis, University of Exeter.


2012-13 – Graduate Teaching Assistant, PHL2011A Philosophy of Nature (course leader and lecturer, Dr. Staffan Müller-Wille)