Research Q & A
What’s your hometown?
What are you currently working on?
I am working on establishing my Ph.D. research, which will likely be focused on understanding the impact of feeding innovations on morphological and lineage diversification in bony fishes. The funds from this award will be used to help collect preliminary data for my research.
How did you get started/what drew you to your area of study?
Fish have always been an interest of mine, and an internship with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as an undergraduate introduced me to the fields of evolution and fish functional morphology.
Why are you focusing your work in that area?
I am very interested in the form and function associated with feeding in organisms, how it works, and how it relates to species diversification. Fish are a great study system for this work, as they demonstrate an astounding array of feeding modes. With online databases and techniques such as microCT scanning becoming more widespread and accessible this is also an exciting time to study organismal biology and tap into all the information that museums and their specimens have to offer.
Where are you working on research/field work?
Currently working from home but I plan to travel to the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs to conduct research and collect microCT data this summer for my Ph.D. research.
Keiffer Williams examining carp gill tissues stained and prepared using histology. Photo credit Joe Szurszewski.