Malcolm S. Gordon

Professor Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

LS 1118

Los Angeles, CA 90095

Tel: (310) 825-4579

Fax: (310) 206-3987

Personal Website

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Recent Courses

EE BIOL 111 - Biology of Vertebrates
EE BIOL 165 - Ecological Physiology of Marine Vertebrates
EE BIOL 170 - Animal Environmental Physiology

Research Interests

My personal research interests presently (2004) 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.

Selected Publications

Bartol, I.K., M. Gharib, P.W. Webb, D. Weihs, and M.S. Gordon. 2005. Body-induced vortical flows: a common mechanism for self-corrective trimming control in boxfishes. J. Exp. Biol. 208: 327-344.

Long, J.A. and M.S. Gordon. 2004. The greatest step in vertebrate history: a paleobiological review of the fish-tetrapod transition. Physiol. Biochem. Zoology 77: 700-719.

Gordon, M.S. and S.M. Bartol (eds.). 2004. Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology. University of California Press, University of California Press 1-340.

Gordon, M.S., J.B. Graham, and T. Wang. 2004. Introduction to the special collection: Revisiting the vertebrate invasion of the land. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 77: 697-699.

Bartol, I.K., M.Gharib, D.Weihs, P.W. Webb, J.R. Hove, and M.S. Gordon. 2003. Hydrodynamic stability of swimming in ostraciid fishes: role of the carapace in the smooth trunkfish Lactophrys triqueter (Teleostei: Ostraciidae) J. Exp. Biol. 206: 725-744.

Bartol, I.K., M.S. Gordon, M. Gharib, J.R. Hove, P.W. Webb, and D. Weihs. 2002. Flow patterns around the carapaces of rigid-bodied, multi-propulsor boxfishes (Teleostei: Ostraciidae) Integ. Comp. Biol. 42: 971-980.

Hove, J.R., L.M. O'Bryan, M.S. Gordon, P.W.Webb, and D. Weihs. 2001. Boxfishes (Teleostei: Ostraciidae) as a model system for fishes swimming with many fins: kinematics. J. Exp. Biol. 204 (8): 1459-1471.

Gordon, M.S., J.R. Hove, P.W. Webb, and D. Weihs. 2000. Boxfishes as unusually well-controlled autonomous underwater vehicles. Physiol. Biochem. Zoology 73: 663-671.

Gordon, M.S.. 1999. The concept of monophyly: a speculative essay Biology and Philosophy 14: 331-348.

Gordon, M.S.. 1998. Integrative physiology and the future of IUPS The Physiologist 41: 16-17.