Post Doctoral Researcher
Tom recently completed his PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of Chicago in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy. He studies how developmental and ecological processes shape the evolution of anatomy and has focused on diversity in fishes from different disciplinary approaches: paleontology, biomechanics, developmental genetics, and comparative phylogenetics. A sampling of his research includes: (1) adipose fin development in Corydoras aeneus and Astyanax mexicanus, with special attention gene expression involved in outgrowth and patterning; (2) midline and paired fin development in zebrafish, characterizing the morphology and genetics of a mutant with a novel, ectopic fin; (3) the kinematics of swimming in lineages of fishes that have evolved the ability to control adipose fin position using electromyography data; and, (4) the description of two new species of fossil Iniopterygian fishes. Tom is passionate about communicating science and has done so as one of the hosts of The Groks Radio Show since 2013. This hour-long radio program covers science news and airs live on WHPK 88.5 in Chicago. It is available online as a podcast. You also can follow him on Twitter (@TomDoesScience).