My research interests center on the functional morphology and evolution of behaviors that are key to individual survival, such as fe eding, locomotion, and ventilation. I plan to collaborate with Adam Summers, Lara Ferry, and my graduate student on a cartilage strain project this summer at FHL. Jaws and their supporting structures have evolved various morphologies that correspond to feeding style. Feeding imposes different levels of stress on these different skeletal morphologies, which can be measured as strain. We plan to measure strain and stiffness in the head elements of fish with cartilaginous skeletons to examine cartilage performance as a skeletal element, and compare to bone. We will to measure morphometrics and mechanical properties of the cartilaginous skeletal elements of the head to relate mechanical properties to morphology. We also plan to measure strain in the skeletal cartilages of at least 2 species of cartilaginous fish while feeding and ventilating. My sabbatical research with Adam Summers over the last two years resulted in a successful NSF grant, 1 publication, 1 MS near submission, and two conference talks.
Selected publications 2015
Balaban, J.P., Summers, A.P., and C.D. Wilga. 2015. Material properties of the hyomandibula in four shark species. J. Exp. Zool., 323A:1-9.2015
Ramsay, J.B., Wilga, C.D., Tapanila, L. Pruitt, J. Pradel, A. Schlader, R., D.A. Dominique. 2015. Eating with a Saw for a Jaw: Functional Morphology of the Jaws and Tooth-Whorl in Helicoprion davisii. J. Morphol., 276:47-64.
Tapanila, L., J. Pruitt, A. Pradel, C.D. Wilga, J.B. Ramsay, R. Schlader, and D.A. Didier. 2013. Jaws for a spiral-tooth whorl: CT images reveal novel adaptation and phylogeny in fossil Helicoprion. Biology Letters, 9: 20130057.2013
Dolce, J.L. and C.D. Wilga. 2013. Evolutionary and ecological relationships of gill slit morphology in extant sharks. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 161:79-109.2012
Wilga, C.D., A.A. Stoehr, D.C. Duquette, and Rebecca M. Allen. 2012. Functional Ecology of Feeding in Elasmobranchs. Env. Biol. Fish. 95:155-167.2012
Wilga, C.D., A. Mai*, S. Nauwelaerts, and G.V. Lauder. 2012. Prey handling using whole body fluid dynamics in batoids. Zoology. 115:47-57.