Staff profile

Dr John Frederick Mulley



Location: Brambell 3rd floor

Phone: 3492

My main area of research concerns the role of gene and genome duplication in vertebrate evolution. Past models for this have included basal (non-teleost) ray-finned fish such as Polypterus, gars and bowfin and cartilaginous fish including the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) and little skate (Leucoraja erinacea). My current research is focused on determining the function of the enigmatic Pdx2 gene, which has been retained in parallel in only a few vertebrate lineages and investigations of the role of gene duplication in the evolution of snake venom.


I completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE) in 2014 and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

I contribute to delivery of various undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including:

BSX1018 'Tutorials'
BNS2001/2002 'Evolution & Genetics' [module organiser]
BSX2018 'Animal Behaviour'
BSX2022 'Vertebrate Biology'
BSX3148 'Practical Developmental Biology' [module organiser]
BSM4101 'Marine Biotechnology' [module organiser]

In addition to the above, I supervise undergraduate (3rd and 4th year) and postgraduate (MSc) research projects and welcome enquiries from prospective students.

Selected publications

Braasch, I., et al. (2016) ‘The spotted gar genome illuminates vertebrate evolution and facilitates human-teleost comparisons’ Nature Genetics 48: 427-437

Hargreaves AD and Mulley JF (2015) ‘Assessing the utility of theOxford Nanopore MinION for snake venom gland cDNA sequencing’ PeerJ 3:e1441; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1441

Hargreaves, AD, Tucker, A, Mulley JF (2015) ‘A Critique of the Toxicoferan Hypothesis’ Evolution of Venomous Animals and Their Toxins (Part of the series Toxinology, Eds: P. Gopalakrishnakone, Anita Malhotra) ISBN: 978-94-007-6727-0 (Online) pp 1-15

Mulley JF, Hargreaves AD, Hegarty MJ, Heller RS, Swain MT (2014) ‘Transcriptomic analysis of the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) pancreas, liver and brain reveals molecular level conservation of vertebrate pancreas function’ BMC Genomics 15: 1074

Hargreaves AD, Swain MT, Logan DW and Mulley JF (2014) ‘Testing the Toxicofera: comparative reptile transcriptomics casts doubt on the single, early evolution of the reptile venom system’ Toxicon 92: 140-156

Hargreaves AD, Swain MT, Hegarty MJ, Logan DW and Mulley JF (2014) ‘Restriction and recruitment – gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins’ Genome Biology and Evolution 6(8): 2088-2095

Mulley, JF & Holland, PWH (2010) “Parallel retention of Pdx2 genes in cartilaginous fish and coelacanths.” Molecular Biology and Evolution 27: 2386

Mulley, JF, Zhong, Y-F. & Holland, PWH (2009) “Comparative genomics of Chondrichthyan hoxa clusters.” BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 218

Mulley, JF, Chiu, C-H & Holland, PWH (2006) “Break-up of a homeobox gene cluster after genome duplication in teleosts.” PNAS 103: 10369


The Leverhulme Trust Project Grant £182,005 (“Mapping the gerbil genome”) 01/04/2016-31/03/2019)

The Leverhulme Trust Project Grant £101,951 ("Genetic basis of snake venom evolution." 01/03/2014-28/02/2016 (Co-I with Dr. Wolfgang Wüster (PI))

European Commission €127,760 (“BITES: Biodiversity Informatics and Technology Exchange for Snakebite management”) 01/12/2013-30/11/2017 (Co-I with Dr. Anita Malhotra (PI))
Systematics and Taxonomy (SynTax) grant scheme £19,553 ("Cryptic reptile diversity in a floristic biodiversity hotspot" 01/04/2012-31/03/2013) (with Dr. Wolfgang Wüster (PI), Dr. Krystal Tolley, Dr. John Measey)

Royal Society Research Grant £12,971 ("Gene duplication, gene regulation and the evolution and development of snake venom" 01/04/2011-31/03/2012)

Diabetes UK Small Grant £14,500 ("The Role of Pdx2 in pancreas development and function" 01/02/2011-31/01/2012)

The Fishmongers Company Research Grant £2,250 ("Resources for the study of shark populations around Bangor" 01/08/2010-31/07/2011)

Offices held


  • SBS Board of Studies
  • SBS Teaching Committee
  • SBS Research Committee