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Bio


Matt Davis

Assistant Professor of Biology
St. Cloud State University

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Bio


Matt Davis

Assistant Professor of Biology
St. Cloud State University

 

Matthew Davis is an Assistant Professor at St. Cloud State University in the Department of Biological Sciences (St. Cloud, MN). He was previously a postdoctoral researcher at various museums and universities including The Field Museum (Chicago, IL), Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA), University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS). He received his B.S. in Biology from Regis University (Denver, CO) and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS).

The primary focus of his research is to investigate the systematics and macroevolution of fishes that have flourished in the extreme aquatic habitat of the deep sea (e.g., lizardfishes, lanternfishes, dragonfishes). His work synthesizes genomic, morphological, and life-history information to investigate the patterns and processes of diversification in aquatic habitats with a focus on the deep sea. This includes reconstructing hypotheses of evolutionary relationships to explore the evolution of deep-sea fishes, including: adaptations and character evolution (e.g., hermaphroditism, bioluminescence, tubular/enlarged eyes), mechanisms of genetic isolation in the deep-sea, transitions in marine habitats, and shifts in diversification rates.

He has conducted marine and freshwater fieldwork to collect fishes in Asia (e.g., Taiwan, Vietnam), Central America (Panama), and North America (e.g., Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi). He has taught a breadth of courses at St. Cloud State University, including Ichthyology, Ecology of Fish Populations, Advanced Phylogenetic Methods, Biostatistics, Zoology, and Conservation and Management of Animals.

 
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Information


Information

Information


Information

Education

2009: Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Honors)
University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Lawerence, KS.
Advisor: Ed Wiley
Dissertation: Integrating Molecular Evolution and Morphology to Study the Evolutionary History of Lizardfishes and Their Allies

2004: B.S. Biology (Honors)
Regis University, Denver, CO.
Advisor: Mike Ghedotti
Honors Thesis: Phylogenetic Analysis of Subgenus Fundulus based on Morphological Evidence and A Morphological Study of the Urogenital Sheath in Fundulid Fishes

Professional Experience

2014 - Present
Assistant Professor of Biology, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

2014 - Present
Adjunct Research Associate, University of KansasBiodiversity Institute, Lawrence, KS.

2013 - 2014
Research Associate, University of KansasBiodiversity Institute, Lawrence, KS.

2011 - 2013
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, The Field MuseumDepartment of Zoology, Chicago, IL. Supervisor: Leo Smith

2010 - 2011
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Louisiana State UniversityMuseum of Natural Science, Baton Rouge, LA. Supervisor: Prosanta Chakrabarty

Editorial and Journal Service 

2014 - Present
Editorial Board, Copeia

2012 - Present
Marine and Fossil Fishes Editor, Zootaxa.

Grants, Awards, and Endowments

2017
Davis, M.P. (PI). Evolutionary Relationships of the Pelagic Lizardfishes (Aulopiformes: Alepisauroidei). Saint Cloud State University New Researcher Award – $3,999.

2016
Davis, M.P. (PI). Evolutionary Relationships of the Lizardfishes (Aulopiformes: Aulopoidei). Faculty Research Grant – $9,969.

2015
Davis, M.P. (PI). Evolutionary Relationships of the Flagfin Fishes (Aulopiformes: Aulopoidei) and the Description of a New Flagfin from Deep-Water Reefs of the Galapagos Islands. Saint Cloud State University New Researcher Award – $3,992.

2014
Lerner-Gray Grant. Evolutionary Relationships of the Barracudinas. – $2,500. American Museum of Natural History.

2013
NSF DEB-1258141. Davis, M.P. (PI), Sparks, J.S. (PI), and Smith, Wm.L. (Co-PI). Collaborative Research: Diversification in the Deep-Sea and the Evolution of Fangs, Bioluminescence, Hermaphroditism, and Marine Habitat Transitions. – $425,000 to Davis and Smith (St. Cloud State University and University of Kansas), $150,000 to Sparks (American Museum of Natural History). 

2012
Women's Board Field Dreams Program. Genomic Analysis of Reproductive Self-Fertilization in the Deep Sea. – $2,000. The Field Museum.

2010
Lerner-Gray Grant. Evolutionary Relationships of the Lizardfishes (Aulopiformes: Synodontoidei). – $1,500. American Museum of Natural History.

2009
NSF DEB-0910081. Davis, M.P. DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Evolutionary Relationships of Lizardfishes and their Allies (Euteleostei: Aulopiformes) and the Evolution of Deep Sea Adaptations. – $13,180.

Panorama Society Small Grant. – $500. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.

2008 - 2001
Deep Fin Student Exchange Program. – $2,000
Panorama Society Small Grant. – $750. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.
Panorama Society Small Grant. – $775. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.
Panorama Society Small Grant. – $1,200. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.
SPARC Student Research Grant. – $485. Regis University
SPARC Student Research Grant. – $500. Regis University
SPARC Student Research Grant. – $250. Regis University

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS

26.    Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P. (2017, In Press). Poeciliidae: Livebearers. In: Warren, M.L. Jr. and Burr, B.M. (Eds.), North American Freshwater Fishes: Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation Volume II.

25.    Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P. (2017). The taxonomic placement of three fossil Fundulus species and the timing of divergence within the North American topminnows (Teleostei: Fundulidae). Zootaxa. 4250 (6): 577–586.

24.    Martin, R.P., and Davis, M.P. (2016). Patterns of Phenotypic Variation in the Mouth Size of Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes)Copeia. 104(4):795-807.

23.    Smith, W.L., Stern, J.H., Girard, M.G., and Davis, M.P. (2016). Evolution of Venomous Cartilaginous and Ray-Finned FishesIntegrative and Comparative Biology. doi: 10.1093/icb/icw070

22.    Davis, M.P., Sparks, J.S., and Smith, W.L. (2016). Repeated and Widespread Evolution of Bioluminescence in Marine Fishes. PLOS ONE. 11(6): e0155154.

21.    Gruber, D.F., Loew, E.R., Deheyn, D.D., Akkaynak, D., Gaffney, J.P., Smith, W.L., Davis, M.P., Stern, J.H., Pieribone, V.A., and Sparks, J.S. (2016). Biofluorescence in Catsharks (Scyliorhinidae): Fundamental Description and Relevance for Elasmobranch Visual Ecology. Scientific Reports. 6, 24751; doi: 10.1038/srep24751

20.    Davis, M.P. (2015). Evolutionary Relationships of the Deep-Sea Pearleyes (Aulopiformes: Scopelarchidae) and a New Genus of Pearleye from Antarctic Waters. Copeia. 103(1):64-71.

19.   Ghedotti, M.J., Barton, R.W., Simons, A.M., and Davis, M.P. (2015). The First Report of Luminescent Liver Tissue in Fishes: Evolution and Structure of Bioluminescent Organs in the Deep-Sea Naked Barracudas (Aulopiformes: Lestidiidae). Journal of Morphology. DOI: 10.1002/jmor.20341

18.    Davis, M.P., Holcroft, N.I., Wiley, E.O., Sparks, J.S., and Smith, W.L. (2014). Species-Specific Bioluminescence Facilitates Speciation in the Deep SeaMarine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-014-2406-x.

17.     Sparks, J.S., Schelly, R.C., Smith, W.L., Davis, M.P., Tchernov, D., Pieribone, V., and Gruber, D.F. (2014). The Covert World of Fish Biofluorescence: A Phylogenetically Widespread and Phenotypically Variable Phenomenon. PLOS ONE. 9(1): e83259.

16.    McMahan, C.D., Chakrabarty, P., Sparks, J.S., Smith, W.L., and Davis, M.P. (2013). Temporal Patterns of Diversification across Global Cichlid Biodiversity (Acanthomorpha: Cichlidae). PLoS ONE. 8(8): e71162.

15.    Davis, M.P., Arratia, G.A., and Kaiser, T. (2013). The first fossil shellear and its implications for the evolution and divergence of the Kneriidae (Teleostei: Gonorynchiformes). In: Arratia, G.A., Schultze, H.P., and Wilson, M.V.H. (Eds.), Mesozoic Fishes V. München (Verlag Dr. F. Pfeil). PP. 325-362.

14.    Davis, M.P., Midford, P.E., and Maddison, W. (2013). Exploring power and parameter estimation of the BiSSE method for analyzing species diversificationBMC Evolutionary Biology. 13:38 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-38. Highly Accessed.

13.    Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P. (2013). Phylogeny, classification, and evolution of salinity tolerance of the North American topminnows and killifishes, Family Fundulidae (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes).  Fieldiana: Life and Earth Sciences. 7(2013):1-65.

12.    McMahan, C.D., Davis, M.P., Dominguez-Dominguez, O., Garcia de Leon, F., Doadrio, I. and K.R. Piller. (2012). From the Mountains to the Sea: Phylogeography and Cryptic Species Diversity within the Mountain Mullet, Agonostomus monticola (Teleostei: Mugilidae)Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12036.

11.    Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P., and Sparks, J.S. (2012). The first record of a trans-oceanic sister-group relationship between obligate vertebrate troglobites. PLoS ONE. 7(8): e44083.

10.    Near, T.J., Eytan, R.I., Dornburg, A., Kuhn, K.L., Moore, J.A., Davis, M.P., Wainwright, P.C., Friedman, M., and Smith, W.L. (2012). Resolution of ray-finned fish phylogeny and timing of diversification.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(34):13698-703.

09.    Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P., Smith, W.L., Berquist, R., Gledhill, K.M., Frank, L.R., and Sparks, J.S. (2011). Evolution of the light organ system in ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae). Journal of Morphology. (272) 6: 704-721.

08.    Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P., Smith, W.L., Baldwin, Z., and Sparks, J.S. (2011). Is sexual selection driving diversification of the bioluminescent ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae)? Molecular Ecology. (20) 13: 2818-2834.

07.    Wiley, E.O., Chakrabarty, P., Craig, M.T., Davis, M.P., Holcroft, N.I., Mayden, R.L., and Smith, W.L. (2011). A Response to Mooi, Williams, and Gill. Zootaxa. 2946: 33-37.

06.    Wiley, E.O., Chakrabarty, P., Craig, M.T., Davis, M.P., Holcroft, N.I., Mayden, R.L., and Smith, W.L. (2011). Will the real phylogeneticists please stand up? Zootaxa. 2946: 7-16. 

05.    Davis, M.P., and Chakrabarty, P. (2011). Tripodfish locomotion and landing behavior (Aulopiformes: Bathypterois) from video observations at bathypelagic depths in the campos basin of Brazil. Marine Biology Research, (7) 3:297-303.

04.    Davis, M.P., and Fielitz, C. (2010). Estimating divergence times of lizardfishes and their allies (Euteleostei: Aulopiformes) and the timing of deep-sea adaptations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, (57) 3:1194-1208.

03.    Davis, M.P., (2010). Evolutionary relationships of the Aulopiformes (Euteleostei: Cyclosquamata): a molecular and total evidence approach. In: Nelson, J. S., Schultze, H.-P., and Wilson, M. V. H. (Eds.), Origin and phylogenetic interrelationships of teleosts. München (Verlag Dr. F. Pfeil). PP. 431-470.

02.    Luttrell, G.R., F.R. Abe, M.P. Davis, and K.R. Anderson. (2007). Recent collections of the Slenderhead darter, Percina phoxocephala (Nelson), from the Kansas River Basin. Transactions of the Kansas  Academy  of Science 2007 (110):127-128.

01.    Ghedotti, M.J., A.M. Simons, & M.P. Davis. (2004). Morphology and phylogeny of the studfish clade, subgenus Xenisma (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes). Copeia (1):53-61.

Recent Presentations

2016
Davis, M.P. Evolutionary Relationships and Patterns of Diversification of Lizardfishes and their Allies (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Oral Presentation.

Olson, E.E., and Davis, M.P. The Evolution of Fangs Across Marine Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Poster Presentation. Presenter Olson is a graduate student (SCSU) mentored by Davis, M.P.

Smith, W.L., Stern, J.H., Girard, M.G., and Davis, M.P. Evolution of venomous cartilaginous and ray-finned fishes. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Oral Presentation.

Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P. Phylogenetic relationships of three fossil Fundulus species and the timing of divergence within the North American topminnows (Teleostei: Fundulidae). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Poster Presentation.

Ghedotti, M.J., Barton, R.W., Gruber, J., Muñoz, J., and Davis, M.P. Morphology of the glowbelly (Acropoma) bioluminescent organ (Teleostei: Acropomatidae). Asian Society of Ichthyologists, Taiwan, May 2016. Poster Presentation.

2015
Davis, M.P. Evolutionary Relationships of the Deep-Sea Pearleyes (Aulopiformes: Scopelarchidae) and a New Genus of Pearleye from Antarctic Waters. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Oral Presentation. 

Martin, R.P., and Davis, M.P. Evolution of Jaw Shape and Length Variation in Deep-Sea Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Poster Presentation. Storer Award for Best Student Poster Ichthyology. Presenter Martin is a graduate student (SCSU) mentored by Davis, M.P.

Barton, R.W., Davis, M.P., Smith, W.L., Munoz, J., and Ghedotti, M.J. Morphology and Evolution of Bioluminescent Organs in the Glow Bellies and Sweepers (Acropomatidae and Pempheridae). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Poster Presentation.

2014
Burgess, C., Smith, W.L., and Davis, M.P. Tracing the Past: Investigating Current and Ancestral Body Shape Evolution in Deep-Sea Dragonfishes (Stomiiformes). SACNAS National Conference, Los Angeles, California, October 2014. Poster Presentation.  

Davis, M.P. Evolution and Diversification of the Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 2014.

Ghedotti, M.J., Barton, R.W., and Davis, M.P. Morphology of the Ventral Luminescent Organ of the Japanese Barracudina (Lestrolepis japonica) with Comments on the Evolution of Bioluminescence within the Barracudinas (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 2014.

2013
Davis, M.P., and Smith, W.L. The Evolution and Invasion of Marine Lineages into Deep-Sea Environments. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 2013.

2012
Davis, M.P., and Smith, W.L. The Evolution of Bioluminescence and its Impact on Diversification in Deep-Sea Lineages. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (World Herpetology Congress), Vancouver, British Columbia, August 2012.

Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P.. Cephalic Sensory Variation Within the Deep-Sea Ipnopid Fishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes): A Preliminary Survey. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (World Herpetology Congress), Vancouver, British Columbia, August 2012.

Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P., and Sparks, J.S. The first record of a trans-oceanic sister-group relationship between obligate vertebrate troglobites. Evolution, Ottawa, Ontario, July 2012.

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Lab Members


Lab Members

Lab Members


Lab Members

 
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Emily Dearmon

M.S. Ecology and Field Biology (2017-Current)
St. Cloud State University

Emily is joining the lab during the Fall Semester of 2017. She will be studying the evolution of bioluminescence in deep-sea fishes.

 
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Lab Alumni


Lab Alumni

Lab Alumni


Lab Alumni

 
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Rene Martin

M.S. Ecology and Field Biology (2015-2017)
St. Cloud State University

Personal Website

Rene’s research is focused on the evolutionary mechanisms that have contributed to one of the greatest radiations of fishes in the deep sea, the bioluminescent and morphologically diverse lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Few studies have investigated macroevolutionary patterns and processes in the deep sea, and her work has lent considerable insight into how lanternfishes have diversified into one of the most species-rich (>260 species) lineages of vertebrates in open-ocean habitats. Specifically, she has been investigating the evolution of variation in mouth size, dentition, and dietary changes across the lanternfish radiation. 

Her poster on the evolution of mouth size in lanternfishes was awarded the Storer Award for Best Student Poster in Ichthyology at the 2015 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists meeting. During her time at SCSU, Rene was awarded over $6,000 in intramural and external funding to support her research and travels to visit museum collections, including the Lerner Grey Marine Research Grant from the American Museum of Natural History. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas.

Selected Works:

Martin, R.P., and Davis, M.P. (2016). Patterns of Phenotypic Variation in the Mouth Size of Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes)Copeia. 104(4):795-807.

Emily Olson

M.S. Ecology and Field Biology (2015-2017)
St. Cloud State University

Emily's research involves studying the evolution of fangs across ray-finned fishes. To date, no study has investigated how many independent evolutions of fangs have occurred across ray-finned fishes. Her research addresses this question by focusing on a robust hypothesis of relationships among families of ray-finned fishes to reconstruct the character evolution of fangs.

Emily has presented the results of her work at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and has been awarded over $3,000 in intramural funding to support her work. She is currently working at the Minnesota Zoo.

Selected Works:

Olson, E.E., and Davis, M.P. The Evolution of Fangs Across Marine Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Poster Presentation. 

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Peter Hundt

Postdoctoral Researcher (2016-2017)
St. Cloud State University

Personal Website

Peter's research is focused on studying the evolution of blennies and their diets. His work at SCSU was focused on investigating the evolution of marine fishes and the anatomy of various deep-sea lineages. He will soon be starting another postdoctoral position at the University of Minnesota.