Lab Members


Christopher E. Oufiero, PhD.
Associate Professor, Graduate Director
Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University
CV (updated 8/2019)
Google Scholar Profile
Dr. Oufiero participates in IDEA, the UCR Institute for the Development of Educational Applications

Contact info:
Department of Biological Science
Towson University
Towson, MD 21252
phone: 410-704-3743
email: coufiero – @ –


Lohit Garikapti (Fall 2021-Present): Lohit joins us from the University of California, Davis and will be investigating variation in prey capture among mantids.

Jastine Honea (Fall 2021-Present): Jastine is co-advised by Dr. Jay Nelson, joins us from University of Hawaii Hilo and will be investigating morphological and physiological variation of local fish along urban gradients.


Spring 2022-Present: 

MK Sullivan: prey capture variation in mantids
Lizzie McMillan: prey capture variation in mantids





Hunter King (Fall 2019-Summer 2021) Non-Thesis. Hunter explored variation in cutaneous water loss in reptiles.

Dara Freemon (Fall 2019-Spring 2021) Non-Thesis. Dara conducted research on the variation in prey capture strikes of Chinese praying mantises.

Mike Talley (Fall 2017-Fall 2019) ENVS Thesis. Comparison of swimming energetic methods. Currently working for USFWS.

Tim O’Neill (Fall 2013-Summer 2016)
Tim’s master’s research focused on examining locomotor costs of the sexually selected sword in Xiphophorus hellerii through comparisons with females and experimental reduction of the sword. He focused on burst locomotion and compared sprint speed and c-start escape responses between males with swords, males without swords and females. He is currently getting an idea of the reproductive effort of females to include in models.

Katie Whitlow (Fall 2014 – Summer 2016)
Katie’s master’s research focused on examining the performance differences of gymnotiform swimmers and the patterns of morphological diversity associated with gymnotiform swimmers and their relatives. Katie measured sprint speed, c-start escapes and steady swimming energetics among seven species of fish ranging from body caudal fin swimmers (Devario malabaricus) to gymnotiform swimmers (e.g., Apteronotus albifrons). She also measure morphology on ~90 species of Gymnotiformes, Osteoglossiformes, Cypriniformes and Siluiriformes. Katie is currently working on presenting and publishing her results. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Chicago.

Katie Minczuk (Spring 2017-Spring 2018) Non-Thesis.

Andrew Rock (Fall 2017-Fall 2018) Non-Thesis. Knifefish and swordtail swimming energetics.


Matthew Burdwood: the secret life of mantises

Ashley Ford (Spring 2018- Spring 2019): Praying mantis feeding performance.

Ashley Simmons (Spring 2018- Fall 2018): Praying mantis feeding performance.

Autumn Aaron (Spring 2017-Spring 2018): Variation in cichlid swimming performance.

Abigail Bresnahan (Spring 2017-Fall 2017): Variation in cichlid swimming performance.

Rachael Mady (Spring 2016-Fall 2016) Rachel  collaborated with Darby on a project examining the relationship between locomotor performance and female preference in some of our swordtails. They measured sprint speed, energetics and female preference in ~20 male X. montezumae and repeated all trials twice. We are currently working through the data. Preliminary results were presented at the SICB meeting in New Orleans, Jan. 2017.

Darby Smith (Spring 2016-Fall 2016) Darby is collaborated on the locomotion and female preference project in swordtails with Rachael. Darby also presented some preliminary results at the SICB meeting in New Orleans, Jan. 2017.

Kelsey Ricci (Spring 2015-Summer 2016): Kelsey helped out on our project examining repeatability and allometry of gymnotiform locomotion and also collected some data on suction feeding in clown knifefish.

Tammy Nguyen (Fall 2014-Summer 2015): Tammy started in the lab helping out with the care and maintenance of our fish. She then conducted independent research exploring the diversity in praying mantis feeding. She is co-author on Oufiero et al. 2016. Tammy is currently serving our country in the US Air Force.

Annie Srangner (Spring 2015): Annie helped out in the lab various projects. She is co-author on Oufiero et al. 2016.

Angelah Ellis (Spring 2015): Angelah helped out in the lab various projects.She is co-author on Oufiero et al. 2016

Juliette Dottle (Spring 2013-Summer 2014): Juliette was the first undergrad in the lab and helped out on a various projects including a project examining morphological variation among Phrynosomatid lizards and finding Sceloporus undulatus in MD. She conducted her own research on the effect of reproductive mode on sexual dimorphism in lizards, which included measuring trips to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History. Her research was presented at Towson University’s Undergraduate Research Expo in Spring 2014. She is currently taking a break from academics and figuring out her future.

Shannon Horan: Towson University, Spring 2014, morphological and swimming performance variation in cichlids.

Nicole Staton: Towson University, Spring 2014, morphological and swimming performance variation in cichlids.

Sharmiane Miller: Towson University, Spring 2014, fish care and husbandry. Sharmaine is currently pursuing graduate school at Penn State.

Kristine Jugo: Kristine worked with in the lab with me during my PhD at UCR collaborating on my dissertation as well as conducting her own independent research, often in collaboration with Paulina. She examined the ontogentic effects of the sexually sword in X. hellerii, looked into the effect of varying sword length on the kinematics of swimming, measured organs, and ran the lab as I tried to finish. She is a co-author on several papers, and although she loved the fish, she has moved on into the medical field. Kristine is currently enrolled as an Osteopathic Medical Student at Western University of Health Sciences in CA.