Volvox 2017: David Kirk will be there

David Kirk

Dr. David Kirk, Professor Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis.

I just found out from Jim Umen, who’s organizing the Fourth International Volvox Conference, that David Kirk is planning to attend. This is great news; we’ve been wanting Dr. Kirk to come since the first meeting in 2011, but it hasn’t previously worked out.

Dr. Kirk and members of his lab were largely responsible for establishing Volvox as a model system for the evolution of multicellularity. He carried out much of the developmental genetics that forms the foundation of our field, including foundational work on Volvox cell type determination, inversion, extracellular matrix, cytoplasmic bridges, sex induction, and phylogenetic relationships. He literally wrote the book on Volvox evo-devo, and many (perhaps most) of the PIs currently studying Volvox spent time in his lab as students and postdocs.

Volvox book cover

Dr. Kirk’s book was partly responsible for my switch from squirrels to Volvox, and I imagine that many other Volvox investigators have similar stories. This is a great chance to meet one of the founders of the field and, if you’re still on the fence, a great reason to come to the meeting.

Don’t forget that the deadlines for both registration and abstract submission are coming up this Friday!


Stable Links:

Green, K. J., G. I. Viamontes, and D. L. Kirk. 1981. Mechanism of formation, ultrastructure and function of the cytoplasmic bridge system during morphogenesis in Volvox. Journal of Cell Biology 91:756–769.

Hoops, H. J., I. Nishii, and D. L. Kirk. 2006. Cytoplasmic bridges in Volvox and its relatives. In F. Baluska, D. Volkmann, & P. W. Barlow, eds., Cell-Cell Channels (pp. 65–84). Springer, Georgetown.

Kirk, D. L. 1998. Volvox: Molecular-Genetic Origins of Multicellularity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kirk, D. L., R. Birchem, and N. King. 1986. The extracellular matrix of Volvox: a comparative study and proposed system of nomenclature. Journal of Cell Science 80:207–31.

Kirk, D. L., and M. M. Kirk. 1986. Heat shock elicits production of sexual inducer in Volvox. Science 231:51–54.

Kirk, M. M., K. Stark, S. M. Miller, W. Muller, B. Taillon, H. Gruber, R. Schmitt, and Kirk, D. L. 1999. regA, a Volvox gene that plays a central role in germ-soma differentiation, encodes a novel regulatory protein. Development 126:639–647.

Larson, A., M. M. Kirk, and D. L. Kirk. 1992. Molecular phylogeny of the volvocine flagellates. Molecular Biology and Evolution 9:85–105.

Nishii, I., S. Ogihara, and D. L. Kirk. 2003. A kinesin, invA, plays an essential role in Volvox morphogenesis. Cell 113:743–753.


  1. Seth Crosby says

    David passed-on last night. If you like, please contact me, and I will provide details concerning the memorial service when they become available.


  1. […] It is hard to overstate his importance to the field Volvox research. In addition to his key role in turning Volvox into a model system, Dr. Kirk trained many of the scientists who are studying Volvox today. As I said previously, […]

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