I'm Sarah Friedman, a PhD candidate in Dr. Peter Wainwright's lab at the University of California, Davis. I am broadly interested in the underlying ecological mechanisms that shape the evolution and diversification of marine fishes. My work combines aspects from functional morphology, phylogenetics, and comparative methods to lend insight into the selective pressures driving morphological diversification.
Planktivory is typically associated with strong selective pressures. We studied morphological convergence in surgeonfish that have transitioned to a planktivorous, pelagic lifestyle. For more detail, the paper can be found here.
We studied the macroevolutionary implications of predation, finding that fish tend to use fin spines to maximize their body dimension to avoid gape-limited predators. For more detail, the paper can be found here.
It is well known that changes in scaling can have large effects on the ecology of organisms. However, we don't know how body size influences macroevolution. My most recent research has been focused on teasing apart some of these effects across reef fishes.