Adam P. Summers
Self-proclaimed 'Fish Guy' & Postdoctoral advisor
R. Dean Grubbs
Shark-Whisperer & MSc primary advisor
Curatorial Maestro & PhD Committee Member
Ken Welch, Jr.
Epic Bird dude & PhD Committee Member
Lisa B. Whitenack
Geometric morphometrics, Finite Element Modeling (FEM), Tooth form & function
Batoid sensory biology, behavioral ecology & physiology
Fish systematics, molecular systematics & trait evolution
Stephanie Crofts - paleontology, biomechanical modeling, tooth structure & function
Mason Dean - morphology, skeletal biomechanics, and biomaterials
Phil Motta - functional morphology, feeding biomechanics in elasmobranch fishes
Gymnura expert, batoid life history, & fisheries ecology
Neotropical fish systematics, body size evolution & morphology, conservation
Neotropical fish systematics, ecology, and conservation
Amy & Ereny Botross (2015-2016):
Amy and Ereny are considering a future in the medical sciences, perhaps dentistry? So it should come as no surprise that they are tackling a project investigating the evolutionary dynamics of mechanical function in stingray jaws. Specifically they are using geometric morphometric techniques to identify if jaw shape diversity is predictive of functional disparity in jaw mechanics... They will also be determining if various cranial skeletal components evolve as a concerted module or if rates of shape change are de-coupled between jaws, skull, and hyomandibular elements.
Swara Shah (2014-2016):
Swara was one of my top UTSC Human Anatomy students and is applying to med school this year. She has an interest in muscle physiology and histology. Swara is helping with a project that examines the use of biological pulleys in the mouths of stingrays and how these rays use these bony protuberances to increase force generation during biting. Swara is also learning how to stain muscle muscle tissue for ATPase activity - this project is investigating the distribution of muscle types across embryological cranial muscle groups in different elasmobranch fishes.
Henil Patel (2014-2015):
Henil was also one of my anatomy students last fall. He has an interest in whole-muscle function and biomechanical modeling. Henil is dissecting bat rays and cownose rays collected from commercial fisheries in order to contrast the scaling patterns of feeding performance in rhinopterine vs myliobatine stingrays. Henil is using a three-dimensional, static equilibrium model developed by Dr. Daniel Huber to estimate bite forces in these stingrays which estimates the moments (torques) acting on the lower jaw.
Michael Dobrovetsky (2012-2014):
Mike has worked with me for two years, after surviving a fish collection trip to the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. His directed study research is on body shape evolution in anchovies and other clupeomorphs in collaboration with Dr. Devin Bloom (Univ of Western Michigan). Mike has as a fascination with birds and is an avid birder, but his professional scientific interests include community ecology, neotropical biodiversity, and the role of zoos in conservation.