FHL 528 | Summer A 2020

Functional Morphology and Ecology of Marine Fishes

Credits: 9

Instructor(s): Dr. Adam Summers


The course will use the diverse marine fish community of the San Juan Islands as a tool for exploring the relationship between functional morphology and ecology. Students in the course will learn: 1) the evolutionary history and relationships of the major radiations of bony and cartilaginous fishes; 2) the tools and techniques of collecting; 3) the tools and techniques of functional morphology.

For the first several weeks of the course there will be daily lectures and field trips to familiarize students with the basic tools and animals that they will need for the latter portion of the course. For the second half of the course students will pursue an independent research project. A variety of projects will be suggested but it is also possible to come up with a completely original project based on personal interest.

Credit: Adam Summers

In the past, projects have covered a wide range of topics including purely ecological, eco-morphology, comparative physiology, comparative morphology and functional morphology. The course will culminate in an oral and written presentation of the results of the research project. This course has historically enjoyed a strong place in the training of functional morphological researchers (see below), and people in the community have expectations about the course. Our experience with the course in the summer of 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 gives us ideas for several changes to the syllabus. However, the majority of the structure and material covered will follow the pattern set in the many successful incarnations of the course. We successfully experimented with several mini seminars during the course – on phylogenetics, material properties, and on R, and this has been incorporated into the plan for the summer of 2020.

Enrollment is limited to 15 students. No textbook is required for this course.

Instructors for the course are:

Dr. Adam Summers
University of Washington
Friday Harbor Laboratories