Morris Laboratory Members

Image of Morris Laboratory members

Graduate Students

Kaylee Rutter, M.A. Student

Keith Tompkins, Ph.D. Student

Keith Tompkins is interested in the evolution of sexually selected traits in swordtail fishes.


Image of Morris Lab students at Hannah Griebling's graduation

Undergraduate Students

Caden Beegan

Ryan Cross

Miyah Givens

Sadi Langer

Faith Pape

Olive Stringer

Grace Vance

Hanna Whitmer

Madeline Worsdall

Alumni and Postdoctoral Fellows

Meredith Fitschen-Brown, Ph.D. 2022. “The behavioral responses to environmental stressors in swordtail fishes (Xiphophorus)”

Melissa Liotta, Ph.D.  2021. "Intralocus Tactical Conflict as a Constraint on the Evolution of Alternative Reproductive Tactics in Xiphophorus multilineatus" (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae)

Neil Hamrick, M.S. 2021. "Predator Inspection and Social Information Usage in the Sexually Dimorphic Livebearing Fish Xiphophorus helleri.”

Fred Tucker M.S. 2019. "Influences of food availability and social context on behavioral plasticity in Xiphophorus helleri hybrids"

Hannah Griebling M.S. 2019. "Intraspecific Variation in Cognitive Traits in a Swordtail Fish (Xiphophorus multilineatus)"

Danniel D'Amore, Ph.D. 2018. Danny D'Amore is interested in the link between behaviors, personalities, and the success of invasive species. She uses the X. helleri and X. helleri-maculatus system to investigate how the invasive process, hybridization, and linebreeding can shape these behaviors and influence the path to invasive success.

Alex Murphy, M.S. 2012 'Plasticity of growth rate in the High-backed pygmy swordtail' (Controller, Huckleberry House, Columbus, OH)

Susan Lyons, M.S. 2011 'Effect of life history strategy on variation in condition- dependent female mating preferences in Xiphophorus fishes' (Ph.D. 2016 from University of North Carolina)

Donelle Robinson, Ph.D. 2011 'Variation in Female Mating Preferences in Swordtail Fishes: the Importance of Social Experience, Male Aggression and Genetic Variation' (Environmental Scientist, City of Austin, TX)

Lisa Bono, M.S. 2009 'Examining the relative lifetime fitnesses for alternative mating phenotypes in Xiphophorus multilineatus' (Ph.D. 2016, University of North Carolina, Postdoctoral Associate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University)

Andre Fernandez, Ph.D. 2008 'Selection for the XMRK oncogene in Xiphophorus cortezi' (Postdoctoral Fellow, Anderson Cancer Research Inst., Texas)

M. Scarlett Tudor, M.S. 2007 'Mechanisms that drive variation in female mating preferences in Xiphophorus malinche' (Ph.D. 2018 University of Florida, Gainesville, Research Associate University of Maine)

Natalie Dubois, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2004-2006 (Climate Change and Wildlife Scientist, Environmental Incentives, Washington, D.C.)

Oscar Rios Cardenas, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2003-2005 (Associate Professor, Instituto de Ecologica, Xalapa, Mexico)

Carla Guiterrez, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2003-2005 (Associate Professor, Instituto de Ecologica, Xalapa, Mexico)

Laurie Dries, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2001-2003 (Research Scientist, City of Austin, TX)

Jason Moretz, Ph.D. 2004 'A comparative analysis of the role of male-male competition in the evolution of aggression, vertical bars and male body size in the northern swordtail fishes' (Postdoctoral Fellow Indiana University, Senior ecologist / biologist, Ecology and Environment Inc. Salt Lake City, UT)

Brooke Axline-Minotti, M.S. 2003 'The Role of Threespot Damselfish in a Patch Reef of the Bahamas'

Justin Merry, M.S. 2001 'Testing for reproductive character displacement in a hybrid zone between two species of swordtail fishes' (Ph.D. 2007 Arizona State University; Associate Professor of Biology, Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA)

Shala Hankison, M.S. 1999 'Multiple cue use in sexual selection and species identification by Xiphophorus pygmaeus' (Ph.D. 2006, Clemson University; Full Professor Wesleyan University, OH)


Oscar Rios-Cardenas, Ph.D. Collaborator

Instituto de Ecologia A.C.
Depto. de Biologia Evolutiva
Xalapa, Veracruz 91070

His main research interests are in Behavioral Ecology, with a more specific focus on the effects of parental care and sexual selection on the evolution of mating systems in general, and alternative reproductive strategies in particular.

Jessica Abbot, Ph.D. Collaborator

Department of Biology
Section for Evolutionary Ecology
Solvegatan 37
223 62 Lund

To learn more about Jessica's research, please see her website, University of Lund.

Carla Guiterrez Rodriquez, Ph.D. Collaborator

Instituto de Ecologia A.C.
Depto. de Biologia Evolutiva
Xalapa, Veracruz 91070