Michelle Gilbert

Michelle Gilbert
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Biology

Doctor of Philosophy
Playing with fish and attempting to understand evolution.

About

10
Publications
8,966
Reads
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20
Citations
Citations since 2016
10 Research Items
20 Citations
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Introduction
My research is broadly centered around understanding the origin of shape, evolution of form, and the connection between form and function. To answer my questions, my approach relies on geometric morphometric methods to investigate patterns of morphological change and I frequently integrate shape data with genetic, environmental, or phylogenetic data to better understand broad evolutionary mechanisms.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - August 2022
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Position
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant
Description
  • BIO 582: DNA to Diversity: Evo-Devo | BIO 151: Introductory Biology I (for non-majors) - Discussion
August 2017 - August 2022
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Position
  • PhD Student
July 2016 - May 2017
Murray State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • BIO 101: Biological Concepts, Lecture | BIO 216: Biological Inquiry and Analysis
Education
August 2014 - August 2016
Western Kentucky University
Field of study
  • Biology
June 2012 - July 2012
University of Southern Mississippi
Field of study
  • Marine Ichthyology
August 2011 - May 2014
Murray State University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (10)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how local populations respond to specific changes in the environment can help us better predict how populations respond to such change. With this topic in mind, we followed up on a previous study by exploring the capabilities of a Geophagini cichlid, known for its unique feeding strategy, to mount a plastic response. We exposed Satano...
Article
Full-text available
The developmental process establishes the foundation upon which natural selection may act. In that same sense, it is inundated with numerous constraints that work to limit the directions in which a phenotype may respond to selective pressures. Extreme phenotypes have been used in the past to identify tradeoffs and constraints and may aid in recogni...
Article
Full-text available
Cichlid fishes exhibit rapid, extensive, and replicative adaptive radiation in feeding morphology. Plasticity of the cichlid jaw has also been well documented, and this combination of iterative evolution and developmental plasticity has led to the proposition that the cichlid feeding apparatus represents a morphological "flexible stem". Under this...
Article
Full-text available
When novel or extreme morphologies arise, they are oft met with the burden of functional trade-offs in other aspects of anatomy, which may limit phenotypic diversification and make particular adaptive peaks inaccessible. Bramids (Perciformes: Bramidae) comprise a small family of 20 extant species of fishes, which are distributed throughout pelagic...
Article
Full-text available
While anthropogenic disturbances can have damaging effects on biodiversity, they also offer an opportunity to understand how species adapt to new environments and may even provide insights into the earliest stages of evolutionary diversification. With these topics in mind we explored the morphological changes that have occurred across several cichl...
Thesis
Full-text available
Drastic alterations to the North American Southwest’s hydrology have highly influenced resident fish communities. In New Mexico and Texas, the Pecos River has been severely altered as a result of water manipulation, isolating backwaters and various habitats that were once connected to the main river. Cyprinodon pecosensis (Pecos pupfish) has been h...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Eye loss can be an extreme evolutionary response to a population being subjected to subterranean environments. Using Astyanax mexicanus, our objectives are to quantify various craniofacial traits that may benefit from eye size reduction or loss.
Project
The goal of this project is to broadly test if differences in morphology and behavior can be induced due to substrate composition. We aim to evaluate the degree plasticity in behavior, form (gross morphology and anatomy), and kinematics involved in said behaviors.