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Biology Students' Research Work Published in Scientific Reports

Kevin Torgersen and six students coworkers from the Biology Department lab of James Albert have a new publication in the journal Scientific Reports. The article "Phylogenetic structure of body shape in a diverse inland Ichthyofauna" focuses on the diversity and evolution of body shape in Louisiana fishes. The lead author, Kevin Torgersen is a graduate student in our Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Ph.D. Program. Torgersen was aided in his studies by four undergraduate researchers, Bradley Bouton, Alyx Hebert, Noah Kleyla, and Garrett Rolf, and by two of his fellow graduate students Xavier Plasencia II and Victor A. Tagliacollo. Each of these students contributed substantially to the project design, data acquisition and analysis, manuscript preparation, and public dissemination of results.

Image caption. Common Lower Mississippi Basin fish species with exemplar body shapes. (a) The Pugnose Minnow Opsopoeodus emiliae (Leuciscidae), to 6.4 cm standard length (SL). (b) Longnose Gar Lepisosteus osseus (Lepisosteidae), to 122 cm SL. (c) Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus (Centrarchidae), to 30 cm SL. (d) Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris (Ictaluridae), to 155 cm SL.

Aspects of this work were presented by Alyx Hebert at the 2022 UL Lafayette Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS), by Noah Kleyla at the 2023 LSU Discover Day, by Bradley Bouton at the 2023 LSU Discover Day, and by Bradley Bouton at the 2023 UL Lafayette ADVANCE Undergraduate Research Symposium.

This work was made possible by logistical and financial support from several units and people at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. Albert would like to give a special thanks to UL Lafayette Advance Student Research program (Sherry Krayesky), the Department of Biology (Paul Leberg), the College of Sciences (Dean Azmy Ackleh and Associate Dean Ashok Kumar), the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Graduate School (Dean Mary Farmer-Kaiser), and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (Ramesh Kolluru and Kumer Pial Das).