Graduate Students


Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate Group in Population Biology, University of California, Davis (2016-present)

B.S., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University (2016)

A.A., Bard College at Simon’s Rock (2013)

Research Interests: I’m interested in using phylogenetic comparative methods and biomechanics to explore the morphological diversity of fishes. My previous research at Friday Harbor Labs was on shark tooth cutting ability and burial mechanics in flatfishes. My current research focuses on the role of transitions to biting in the functional and morphological diversity of coral reef fishes. I’m also interested in the role of functional integration and modularity in driving and constraining evolution of morphology.

Recent publications:

Corn, K.A., Farina, S.C., Summers, A.P., and Gibb, A.C., 2018. Effects of organism and substrate size on burial mechanics of English sole, Parophrys vetulusJournal of Experimental Biology, jeb.176131. doi: 10.1242/jeb.176131

Corn, K.A., Farina, S.C., Brash, J., and Summers, A.P., 2016. Modelling tooth–prey interactions in sharks: the importance of dynamic testing. R. Soc. Open Sci. 3: 160141. doi: 10.1098/rsos.160141

For more information about Katherine’s research, visit her website or contact her at



Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate Group in Population Biology, University of California, Davis (2017-present)

B.S., Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Sciences, Purdue University (2017)

Research Interests: I am interested in exploring the evolution of biomechanical processes in fish systems. More specifically, I am interested in using morphological data, ecomorphology, phylogenetics, and comparative methods to understand the diversification and potential constraints placed on functional mechanisms in closely related species. My previous research focused on the role of evolutionary integration in the diversification of the lower jaw adduction system in sculpins and related species. As a member of the Wainwright lab, I hope to expand my skills to understand more about morphological variation and movement across fish lineages.

Recent publications:

Roberts, A.S., Farina, S.C., Goforth, R.R., and Gidmark, N.J., 2018. Evolution of skeletal and muscular morphology within the functionally integrated lower jaw adduction system of sculpins and relatives (Cottoidei). Zoology129, pp.59-65.

For more information about Alexus’ research, contact her at



Ph.D. Student, Graduate Group in Population Biology, University of California, Davis (2019-present)

B.S., Biology – Marine option, California State University, Northridge (2015)
M.S., Biology, California State University, Long Beach (2019)

Research Interests: I am interested in the relationships among morphological diversity and behavioral ecology in fishes. Specifically, I would like to address the ways in which morphology limits technique in feeding, swimming, and other behaviors. During my undergraduate research I focused primarily on the relationship among size and courtship and feeding behaviors in fish, and my masters thesis addressed local adaptation in behavior as a product of geographic isolation and spatial variation in fishing pressure among populations. I think that now it would be interesting to measure how morphological and behavior correlations may be impacted by selective pressures such as fishing which vary over space.

Recent publications:

Johnson, D.W., Stirling, B.S., Paz, J., and Satterfield, D.R. (2019). Geographic variation in demography of black perch (Embiotoca jacksoni): Effects of density, food availability, predation, and fishing. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.  doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2019.04.008

Satterfield, D.R., and Steele, M.A. (2019). Effects of size and sex on the courting success and foraging behaviour of Embiotoca jacksoniJournal of Fish Biology.  doi: 10.1111/jfb.13981

For more information about Darien’s research, visit her LinkedIn or contact her at


Postdoctoral Researchers


Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis (2016-present)

Postdoctoral Fellow, American Museum of Natural History, New York (2014-2016)

Ph.D., Stony Brook University, New York (Dec 2014)

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (June 2006)

Research Interests: My research concerns the diversity of fish forms and its implication for lifestyle variation. I am interested in understanding evolutionary processes involved in morphological diversification and the extent to which shape impacts function and performance. To this end, I have worked with a number of systems, from sexual dimorphism in skate pectoral fins to covariation of body and jaw shapes in cichlids. At UC Davis, I am using geometric morphometrics to study cranial kinesis in cichlid fishes as a novel way to understand their trophic evolution and niche segmentation.

Several recent publications:

Martinez CM, McGee MD, Borstein SR, & Wainwright PC., 2018. Feeding ecology underlies the evolution of cichlid jaw mobility. Evolution72(8), 1645-1655.

Martinez CM & Sparks JS., 2017. Malagasy cichlids differentially limit impacts of body shape evolution on oral jaw functional morphology. Evolution. 71(9), 2219-2229.

Martinez CM & Stiassny MLJ., 2017. Can an eel be a flatfish? Observations on enigmatic asymmetrical heterenchelyid eels from the Guinea Coast of West Africa. Journal of Fish Biology. 91, 673-678.

 Martinez CM, Rohlf FJ, & Frisk MG., 2016. Re-evaluation of the morphological diversity of batoid pectoral fins: consequences for locomotion and lifestyle. Journal of Morphology. 277(4), 482-493.

Martinez CM, Rohlf FJ, & Frisk MG., 2016. Sexual dimorphism in sister species of Leucoraja skate and its relationship to reproductive strategy and life history. Evolution & Development. 18(2), 105-115.

For more information about Chris’s research, visit his website or contact him at



Postdoctoral research affiliate, Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis (2017–present)

Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, University of Hawaii (2014–present)

Ph.D., University of Kansas (May 2014)

B.S. California State University, Sacramento (May 2008)

Research Interests: I’m an evolutionary biologist with interests in genetics, field biology, and organismal biology. My research is focused around understanding the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in natural populations, and across evolutionary timescales using phylogenetic and population genetic approaches. I primarily work on lizards, and my current research is focused on investigating patterns of hybridization in whiptail lizards in Mexico. I am also interested in how well phylogenetic models fit empirical genomic datasets and identifying the ways in which we can improve models to make the inferences we draw under them more reliable. As a member of the Wainwright lab, I’m looking forward to learning a bit more about fish and developing my comparative methods skills.

For more information about Anthony’s research, visit his website or contact him at