Craig Albertson (PI)

Generally speaking, my lab seeks to understand how genotype is translated to phenotype over development, with implications for both adaptation and disease. Our approach to this mission is integrative, as we work within several different theoretical frameworks, focus on multiple levels of biological organization, and utilize many different experimental methods. Image: Craig at the Burgress Shale (2017) standing atop a pile of Cambrian fossils! (photo credit: I. Dworkin).;

Andy Conith (Postdoc)

My research focuses on investigating the ecological and evolutionary dynamics that influence phenotypic diversity in cichlids, with a particular emphasis on understanding the roles of modularity and integration in shaping morphological evolution of the skull. I am particularly interested in how changes in the level of integration (the degree of covariation among sets of traits) can influence morphological disparity and the rate of morphological evolution. To this end, I use a variety of approaches to illuminate how cichlids have achieved such a great taxonomic, trophic, and morphological diversity including geometric morphometrics, quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis, and phylogenetic comparative analysis. The ultimate goal of my research is to gain a more holistic understanding of how developmental, morphological, and functional parameters contribute to constraining or facilitating vertebrate biodiversity. Analyzing these factors together will provide a means to test how certain trait complexes have arisen, persist, and perform as a unit.


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Google Scholar Profile:

Michelle Gilbert (OEB PhD student)

Broadly, I am interested in the many diverse morphologies that have arisen among vertebrates (primarily fishes) and seek to better understand the evolutionary mechanisms that have helped shaped them. As a Master's student in the Collyer Morphometrics lab, my research focused on investigating differences in cranial morphology among isolated populations of Pecos pupfish (Cyprinodon pecosensis), a threatened species found in New Mexico and Texas, using geometric morphometrics. As a member of the Albertson lab, I hope to expand into new systems, acquire new skill sets, and further my understanding of morphology and the evolutionary forces behind

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Emily Tetrault (MCB PhD student)

Emily's research is broadly focused on bone biology. Specifically, she is working toward (1) a better understanding of how the primary cilia influences bone development, growth and remodeling using the zebrafish model; (2) the genetic/genomic basis of phenotypic plasticity in the cichlid feeding apparatus.

Niah Holtz (OEB PhD student)

My research happily rests between the boundaries of evolutionary biology and computer science. I find fascination in many things, but I am a sucker for big data and automated analyses. My past work has focused on behavioral and morphometric assays, but I always want to learn more. Thus, I am digging into the complex life of cichlids and Astyanax mexicanus. Excited and at home in this interdisciplinary lab.

Lab Alumni:

  • Mary Packard (Postdoctoral Fellow 2018-2022), Staff Lab Coordinator, Departmental of Biology, UMass, Amherst.

  • Dina Navon (OEB PhD, 2012-2018), Postdoc Rutgers University, Nakamura Lab.

  • Laura Suttenfield (Undergraduate researcher, 2016-2018), PhD program, UI Urbana Champaign.

  • Moira Conith (OEB PhD, 2011-2018), Postdoctoral Fellow, Western Washington University.

  • Doug Calenda (MCB MS student, 2016-2017), PA Program, MCPHS University.

  • Dave Matthews (Undergraduate researcher, 2014-2016), OEB PhD program, Harvard University.

  • Kara Powder (Postdoctoral Fellow 2011-2016), Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences.

  • Yinan Hu (OEB PhD student, 2009-2015), Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston College.

  • Kenta Kawasaki (MCB MS student, 2015-2016), living the life somewhere in Boston!

  • Jim Cooper (Postdoc, 2007-2011), Assistant Professor, Western Washington University.

  • Kevin Parsons (Postdoc, 2008-2012), Senior Lecturer (i.e., Associate Professor), University of Glasgow

  • Nicole Jabocs-McDaniels (PhD student, 2008-2012), Associate Professor, SUNY Herkimer College.

  • Thomas Stewart (Undergraduate student, 2007-2010), Assistant Professor, Penn State University.