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Redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus), male

To find our published papers, look for Emily Kane on GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Swimming, feeding, and integration of functional systems


Several species  of freshwater sunfishes and basses (Family Centrarchidae) have been used to understand fish physiology, mechanics, ecology, and evolution for many years, creating a strong foundation upon which to ask new questions. For example, knowing the basics about functional systems such as locomotion and feeding, we can now ask how these functions might be integrated, or coordinated, during a task like prey capture. We can also ask how factors such as variation among individuals or ecological factors affect traits individually as well as their integration, as well as how these responses shape population, community, and species dynamics. By examining fish performance with a more holistic lens, where multiple systems can work independently as well as in coordination to solve functional problems, we gain a new perspective on classic problems in fish functional morphology and biomechanics.


Recent work on these topics has been published in the Journal of Experimental Zoology, part A , Integrative Organismal Biology, and Biological Journal of the Linnean Society! Although this is currently a less active focus of the lab, we are interested in developing these questions further, including examining the mechanistic explanations between fin use and prey capture outcomes.

Bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) caught in a cast net

This work has been funded by: ​

  • Upcoming work is in preparation for proposal submission to the National Science Foundation.

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