I work to understand how diversity (phenotypic, ecological, and species diversity) accumulates in species rich lineages of fishes. I use a variety of different types of data (morphological, ecological, phylogenetic, and functional) to address a series of related questions. I currently use the North American radiation of freshwater percid fishes commonly called darters as my primary study system. I have also begun to study divergent adaptation to lake and stream habitats in threespine sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Work at Fordham U.:
1. Effect of the premaxillary frenum on jaw protrusion and other feeding kinematics in Etheostoma darters.
On-going collaborative projects:
1. Phylogenetic relationships among all described and undescribed species of darters. (With Tom Near at Yale U.; Near et al. in prep.)
2. Patterns of diversification and disparification in darters with comments on the contrasts between continental and island radiations. (With Tom Near and Peter Wainwright at UC Davis)
3. Performance consequences of body shape divergence between lake and stream populations of threespine sticklebacks in the Misty Lake system. (With George Lauder at Harvard U., Andrew Hendry at McGill U. (Canada), and Daniel Berner at U. of Basel (Switzerland)).
At Harvard U. (with George Lauder):
1. The kinematics of benthic station-holding in darters. (Carlson and Lauder 2010)
2. Use of the benthic boundary layer by station-holding darters. (Carlson and Lauder 2011)
3. Correlated variation in pectoral fin kinematics during darting and fin shape among darter species. (Carlson and Lauder in prep)
4. Novel use of large rocks by Nothonotus darters in high velocity flows.
5. Correlated evolution of morphological (pectoral fin shape) and ecological (microhabitat) diversity across darters.
At UT Austin (with Dan Bolnick):
1. Effect of community diversity (ecological, phylogenetic) on population niche breadth in the johnny darter E. nigrum. (Carlson and Bolnick in prep.)
2. Relationship between morphological and diet diversity in E. nigrum. (Carlson and Bolnick in prep.)
3. Divergent morphological, functional, and performance adaptation to lake-stream habitats in threespine sticklebacks.
4. Extent of dietary overlap among fish species within a stream community.
1. Ecological morphology of darters and variation in morphological disparity among major clades. (Carlson and Wainwright 2010)
2. Temporal dynamics of microhabitat habitat diversification in darters. (Carlson et al. in prep.)
3. Temporal patterns of morphological disparity accumulation in darters. (Carlson and Wainwright in prep.)
4. Relationship between species co-occurrence and morphological diversification in Percina darters. (Carlson et al. 2009)
5. Change in tropic morphology in the Tessellated darter E. olmstedi following introduction of the Banded darter E. zonale to the Susquehanna R. drainage. (Carlson 2008)
6. Contrasting patterns of community assembly between Etheostoma and Percina darters. (Carlson in prep.)
1. Factors contributing to the distinct vertical distribution pattern of the common periwinkle Littorina littorea. (Perez, Carlson, et al. 2009)
2. Heterogeneity in the spatial distribution of L. littorea. (Carlson et al. 2006)
3. Frequent loss of the swimbladder in teleost fishes parallels a high incidence of swimbladder-related mutations during development in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. (McCune and Carlson 2004)