Michael Coates

Michael Coates

Professor, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy

Professor by day, fish by night. Builds robo-sharks on the weekends.

While not disputing placements of taxa on trees, Professor Koates engages in arguments about the correct pronunciation of “scone.” Religiously makes pilgrimages across campus for a daily cuppa.

Top likes:

  • A good foggy day
  • Daily sandwiches + banana
  • A hearty and robust character matrix

Top dislikes:

  • Using “basal” as an adjective to describe taxa
  • Missed/delayed Metra trains
  • “Sharks represent the primitive condition”

Email: mcoates at uchicago dot edu 

Tetsuto Miyashita

Tetsuto Miyashita

Crown Group Tetsutodines

As the lab’s interest grows crown-ward and stem-ward, I’m at its moving front sweeping over ‘agnathans,’ or jawless vertebrates. A former dinosaur kid who sought refuge in museums, zoology convert thanks to marine labs, and postdoc with complicated burdens (book collector, baseball fanatic, part-time philosopher, Japanese and Canadian expat, parent).

Email: tetsuto at uchicago dot edu 

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Ben Otoo

Ben Otoo

Captain Tetrapod, Grand Vizier

I work on early tetrapods, including their morphology (particularly in the postcranial skeleton), evolution, and ecology. My work focuses on the Carboniferous, including the recovery from the end-Devonian extinction at one end and the Carboniferous-Permian transition at the other. I’m co-advised by Ken Angielczyk at the Field Museum. Outside of that, I’m an enthusiastic afficionado of rhizodonts, and much less keen on cyclostomes. Down with braincases, up with femora!

Email: botoo at uchicago dot edu

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Stephanie Sang

Stephanie Sang

Fish with legs, website manager

I am investigating macroevolutionary patterns of paired fin positioning in actinopterygians. I also study zebrafish paired fin development (co-advised by Robert Ho). In my spare time, I update this website and push the boundary of what ridiculous statements I can get away with.

Email: stephaniesang at uchicago dot edu

Click here for my personal website and more fish with legs!

Abby Caron

Abby Caron

Braincase whisperer

I am studying the evolution of Paleozoic ray-finned fishes. Particular topics of interest include braincase characteristics, jaw articulation systems, and patterns of macroevolutionary radiation. Slowly flooding the lab with 3D-printed models.

Email: amcaron at uchicago dot edu

Vishruth Venkat

Vishruth Venkat

Lamprey in disguise

Continuing the Coates’ lab tradition of integrating palaeontology with evolutionary developmental biology (and co-advised by Vicky Prince), I’m investigating the evolutionary morphology of vertebrate head and sensory systems, particularly the cranial lateral line. I also spend time thinking about the origin of novelties in general , as well as the history and philosophy of science and religion, while wondering how it is that people don’t appreciate agnathans more.

Email: vishruthv at uchicago dot edu

Elisabeth Incardona

Elisabeth Incardona

Fish assistant lmao

Lab Alumni: Always remembered, never forgotten

Hector Botella

Hector Botella

Visiting Researcher

Team Leader @ Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia

Kristen Tietjen

Kristen Tietjen

Bringer of the Floof/Captain Scanner

Scientific Illustrator @ University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum

Matt Friedman

Matt Friedman

Former graduate student

Associate Professor, Director Museum of Paleontology @ University of Michigan

Lauren Sallan

Lauren Sallan

Former graduate student

Martin Meyerson Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies @ University of Pennsylvania 

Kate Criswell

Kate Criswell

Former graduate student

Royal Society Shooter International Fellow in the Gillis Lab @ University of Cambridge

Tom Stewart

Tom Stewart

Former graduate student

Postdoctoral fellow in the Shubin Lab @ University of Chicago

Marcello Ruta

Marcello Ruta

Former postdoctoral scholar

Senior Lecturer in School of Life Sciences @ University of Lincoln

Julia J. Day

Julia J. Day

Former graduate student

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Biology, University College London

Samuel P. Davis

Former graduate student

Rob Gess

Rob Gess

Former graduate student

Research associate, Albany Museum/Rhodes University