Malcolm S. Gordon

Professor Emeritus

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

LS 1118
Los Angeles, CA 90095

(310) 825-4579

Personal Website

My personal research interests presently focus in three major areas. All three are themes I have pursued with varying levels of activity for many years: (i) The functional morphology, biomechanics, kinematics, and hydrodynamics of swimming in fishes using different methods of locomotion. This is the major, extramurally funded activity in the laboratory. Emphasis is on rigid-bodied, median and paired fin (MPF) swimming fishes and on the gait changes they demonstrate as they swim at progressively higher speeds. Species used are marine (puffers, spiny puffers, boxfishes, cowfishes, trunkfishes). Much of this work involves direct visualization and analysis of patterns of fluid flow around swimming fishes using 2- and 3-dimensional laser-based digital particle imaging velocimetry. This work is collaborative, primarily with colleagues at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. (ii) The biochemical, physiological and behavioral adaptations possessed by living amphibious teleost fishes for life on the land, and the significance of these adaptations for understanding of the evolutionary processes involved in the origins of the tetrapods. This theme involves collaboration with paleontologists. It does not presently involve active laboratory work. (iii) The functional morphological and behavioral properties of rays and related elasmobranch fishes, primarily in the context of both locomotion and processes relating to finding and acquiring food. This theme is central to a current doctoral dissertation project now in progress.