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Evolutionary Ecology of Fishes Laboratory
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Updated: February 14, 2015

We are interested in evolutionary ecology, in other words, why organisms do the things that they do. Most of our work focuses on fish reproduction and parental care, though we are interested in all aspects of evolutionary ecology. The lab logo illustrates Tomocichla tuba, a fascinating cichlid fish found in eastern Costa Rica, which I have studied for many years at the La Selva Biological Station and elsewhere in Costa Rica.


Evolutionary Ecology of Fishes Lab blog




Dr. Ron Coleman

Graduate Students

Angela Aikens [starting Spring 2014]
Kasie Barnes [The effects of body length and density on the initiation and completion of metamorphosis in larval lamprey]
Steve Brumbaugh [Modeling Spring-Run Chinook Salmon Abundance to Determine Restoration Benefits in Data-Poor Northern California Watersheds]
Jamie LeFevre [started Fall 2013]
Beth Parvis [tule perch morphometrics]
Hali Rederer [Herring reproduction]
Tom Riley [started Fall 2014]
AJ Southwell [Modeling oceanographic circulation flows in Tomales Bay]

Erin Strange [killer whales and salmon]
Whitney Thorpe [Gravel augmentation on salmon streams]

Undergraduate Assistants and Research Students

Lance (Teo) Courtney [Water mold]
Jonathan Edwards [biparental care]
Natalie Flores [McNair Scholar, Parent-Offspring communication; Resident effects and aggression]
Marcus Guerrero [cichlid parental behavior]
Jasmine Hamilton [McNair Scholar, Size asymmetry and aggression]
Katie Karpenko [Group size and aggression]
Cheyene Keniston [Hypsophrys nicaraguense tunneling]
Stephanie Lopez [LSAMP -- nest site selection by convict cichlids]
Morgan Martinez [brood cannibalism]
Kelsey Montgomery [cichlid parental behavior]
Gina Rodriguez
Taylor Rucker [lab assistant]
Esther Tracy [Environmental Education in Costa Rica]
Taisiya Tvertinova [Nicaragua canal]
Sasha Watkins [fecundity of mouthbrooding cichlids]
Brian Williams

Team ACTV: Albert Phan, Christian Evangelista, Thomas Yang, Victor Huba [Cichlid Simulator project]

Lab Alumni

Graduate Students Who Have Completed Master's Degrees in the lab

Farhat Bajjaliya [Morphometric Variation in Adult California Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) between four distinct population segments.] December 2014

Robyn Bilski [The Effects of Structure Enhancement on Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat] December 2008

Bianka Bommarito [Does egg size influence spawning temperature preference in substrate spawning cichlid fishes?] May 2011

Laura Cholodenko [The role of pesticides, introduced fish, and habitat change in the decline of the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) in California] December 2006

Karen Converse [Genetic Mating System and Territory Inheritance in the Sacramento Valley Red Fox] December 2012

Danielle Delaporte [Effects of Predator Size and Lag Time between Attacks on Parental Care by Female Archocentrus nigrofasciatus]. December 2007.

Lynn Drennan [Female competition and display in kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher), a West African cichlid] December 2006

Rob Grasso [Palatability and antipredator response of Yosemite toad (Bufo canorus) to nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California] December 2005 pdf Word

Lesley Hamamoto [The influence of parental care behavior by convict cichlids on the incidence of oomycete infection of their eggs] May 2010

Erika Holland [Reproductive biochemistry of Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)] May 2008 [completed PhD, UC Davis, 2014]

Nina Kogut [Effect of Delayed Brood development on Parental Defense by Female convict cichlids] May 2005.

Gena Lasko [Straying of late-fall-run Chinook Salmon from the Coleman National Fish Hatchery into the Lower American River, California]

James Phillips [Parental ecology of the plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus)] December 2007

Luciana Ramirez [Predation Pressure as a Determinant of Parental Behavior in Neotropical Cichlids] December 2008 Word

Stephen Stringer [Optimization of hydrostatic pressure treatment to induce triploidy in American River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)] May 2007.

Lissa Thompson [Effects of egg size and temperature on development on mouthbrooding cichlid eggs] December 2004

Martha Volkoff [Stock Identification of Central Valley Chinook Salmon Using Otolith Microstructure] December 2004

Shannon Waters [Effects of Salinity on Reproductive success of Tilapia in the Salton Sea, California]

Dan Worth [Growth and Dispersal of Recently Stocked Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout in the Lake Davis Watershed] December 2010

Undergraduate Students Who Have Completed Honor's Theses in the lab

Samantha Hilber [Changes in egg size variance and egg number through consecutive spawnings in convict cichlids] May 2005

Bianka Bommarito [Choice of spawning temperature by neotropical cichlids] May 2005

DJ Eichenberger [Effect of diet on egg size in convict cichlids] May 2004

Beth Glidewell [Sexual dimorphism in the convict cichlid] May 2007

Sandy Johnston [] May 2007

Kim Nelson [] May 2007

Graduate Students who went on to other things

Shelly Amrhein [Moved to Dr. Kneitel's lab, then withdrew]

DJ Eichenberger [Moved to Dr. Lancaster's lab, graduated with MS]

Elif Fehm-Sullivan [Moved to Dr. Kneitel's lab, graduated with MS]

Guthrum Purdin [Completed vet school at UC Davis]

Geoff Teigen [Withdrew]

Undergraduate Assistants and Research Students

Name What they did Where they are now
Richard Aguirre SEE summer research student Science Education Equity (SEE) office at CSU Sacramento
Brandon Amrhein Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2005  
Marcos Arreola Research Assistant  
Tracy Audisio Cave biology SFSU and California Academy of Sciences doing MS on spiders with Charles Griswold
Autumn Bahlman Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2004  
Anthony Barley Research Assistant Worked in the lab of Brad Shafer at UC Davis; now in PhD at Kansas since Fall 09
Nathan Bell Temperature and aggression  
Allison Berke Research Assistant, Cichlid eggs and temperature, Summer 2004 Allison was a Biology undergraduate at MIT, and is now a PhD student at UC Berkeley.
Camelia Bianchi Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2002 Masters student at Washington State University (Vancouver campus) in Environmental Science with Dr. Brian Tissot.
Bianka Bommarito Honor's thesis 2005; Choice of spawning temperature by neotropical cichlids Went on to do Masters student in Coleman lab
Sam Borstein Undergraduate Research PhD student at University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Fall 2013)
Caitlin Brady Tilapia eggs  
Audrey Burnett Aggression  
Nicolette Canzoneri Research Assistant

Masters student in Anthrozoology at Canisius College in New York

Lizette Castillo Lab Assistant, 2012 undegrad at CSUS
Paul Clerkin Sacramento City College research student Now undergraduate at Cornell University
Selina Cole Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2008  
Erin Crumpley Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2003  
Mark Dendy Bio 199; sculpin behavior; Spring 2006 Interactions between sharks and harbor seals. Mark did his MS degree through the University of Maryland]
Angela De Palma Aquatic plants MS at Michigan State University with ....
Courtney Dietz Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2003; Egg attachment threads of Central American cichlids Masters student at Bren School of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara
Anna Doty Lab Assistant summer 2009; Field Assistant in Costa Rica 2009 Completed Master of Science at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univerisity, South Africa in January 2012
DJ Eichenberger Honor's thesis 2004: Diet and Egg size Finished MS with Dr. Winston Lancaster at CSUS
Alison Galvani Undergraduate thesis; collaborator PhD, Oxford University 2002; Miller PostDoctoral Fellow at University of California Berkeley; As of Oct 2004, an Assistant Professor in the Medical School at Yale University. Awarded the American Society of Naturalists Young Investigator's Prize for 2005.
Liz Hanson Research Assistant, Cichlid fry size and temperature, Spring and Summer 2007 Biology undergraduate at MIT as of Fall 2009
Eduardo Hazera OTS REU student, Summer 2009 Eduardo is an undergraduate at Colorado College
Jesse Heckendorf STAR program; temperature and parental care future teacher
Samantha Hilber Honor's thesis 2005: Changes in egg size variance and egg number through consecutive spawnings in convict cichlids PhD 2014, from the lab of Dr. Collette St. Mary at the University of Florida
Sandy Johnston Honors program, 2006-2007  
Lucinda Kent Field Assistant for California freshwater fishes  
Teresa Kirkpatrick McNair Scholar; Distinguishing male from female convict cichlids  
Michelle Kleine OTS REU student, Summer 2010 Michelle is a graduate of College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine; now Graduate Student at Trent University (Fall 2013)
Kelly Klingler OTS REU student, Summer 2009 Kelly is a student at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Jamie LeFevre Ectothermic Museum Curatorial Assistant Works at Army Corps of Engineers
Kristi Lofton Ectothermic Museum Curatorial Assistant  
Nick Macias Research on The magical world of crayfish 2011 In MS program at University of Southern Georgia
Madeline Majer Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2004 Completed DDS at University of Michigan, and is now a dentist in Roseville.
Adriana Moncada Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2002; Costa Rican rainforest ecology Now works at the Air Resources Quality Board
Carlos Montanez SEE summer research Student Undergraduate at CSU Sacramento
Courtney Ray Bio 199; cichlid behavior, Spring 2006    
Jennifer Robinson Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2004  
Sadie St. Lawrence Brood cannibalism  
Kia Seehaufer Individuality  
Nathaniel Shanklin Fish aggression and temperature, Summer 2011  
Angelica Sprague Research assistant  
Preeti Talwai    
Ameer Thompson McNair Scholar; Evolution of eyespots on fishes; Diet and parental investment Ameer started the PhD program at UC Davis, then he moved with his lab to Cornell Medical School, NY where he finished his PhD in fall 2010
Esther Tracy

Field Assistant in Costa Rica, 2013; Research Assistant

Sarah van Ruiten NSM SURE award, Summer 2010 in Costa Rica  
Alison Wagner Plecostomus and cichlid parental care  
Alex Webb Undergraduate research Graduate Student Washington State (Fall 2013)


Lab History -- My Academic "Family"

Name Who they are Current activities
Dr. Mart Gross Ron's MSc and PhD Supervisor, University of Toronto Mart Gross Lab of Conservation Biology University of Toronto
Dr. George Barlow Ron's Postdoctorate Supervisor, University of Calfornia, Berkeley Dr. George Barlow Emeritus Professor, UC Berkeley {deceased, 2007}
Dr. Ian Fleming Labmate during graduate school Dr. Ian Fleming Ocean Sciences Center, Memorial University, Newfoundland
Dr. Isabelle Cote Labmate during graduate school Dr. Isabelle Cote's Tropical Marine Ecology Group Professor, Simon Fraser University
Dr. John Reynolds Labmate during graduate school Dr. John Reynolds' Lab Professor, Simon Fraser University

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