Sharks, rays, whales, and other critters. Nature is our inspiration.
The FABB Lab explores performance in organisms ranging from plankton to the largest organisms on Earth (baleen whales). The lab operates at the interface of biology and materials science. The majority of our work is focused within the marine realm, though from time to time we investigate performance in a terrestrial critter.
FABB Lab Fall 2019. Back: Raj Divi, Andrew Lowe, Ryan Fitterer, Ashleigh Davis, Jacob Javier
Front: Lindsay Maldonado, Misty Paig-Tran (PI), Leslie Barron
Evolution and performance of filter-feeding in sharks and rays (whale sharks, basking sharks, megamouth sharks and manta/mobula rays).
This work is supported by NSF IOS.
Current research projects
1) Function and biomaterials of deep sea fish bones (dragonfish and hatchetfish).
2) Osteoderm performance in armadillos
3) Hearing in mysticete whales
(Graduate student Maddy Wilson)
4) Animal bite/jaw performance - piranhas, squids, sharks, ribbonfishes (Graduate students Andrew Lowe and Jahnita DeMoranville)
5) Digging performance and fluidization of sand beds in sand crabs
6) Tooth fatigue and replacement in sharks
7) Microplastics pollution and remediation in commercially important food fishes
(Graduate student Chelsea Bowers)
Work in part supported by CSU COAST RAPID
8) Function and performance of accessory reproductive organs.
(Graduate Student Katie Kern)
9) Filter performance in whale sharks
(Graduate student Nicole Steplewski)
1) Evolution and development of hyperostosis in marine fishes (oarfishes) - Collaboration with Dr. Lara Ferry
2) Fish scales as a model for new armor technology (armored catfish) - Andrew Lowe
3) Mechanical performance and freezing of bone in tunas and their relatives - Andrew Barrios
4) Manta ray filtration - Raj Divi
Oarfish with BYU podcast
National Geographic Feature on Corydoras
Bad Science Podcast The Shape of Water
Bad Science Podcast Finding Nemo
Science Friday NPR Manta Ray Gill Rakers 2014
Science Friday NPR Oarfish 2014
Clearing and staining
2013 Oarfish work
New York Times
2013 Six-gill shark research
San Juan islander article
Mantas and whale shark research
2013 California State University Press release & full article - Devil ray research
2013 San Juan Islander
2013 University of Washington press:
2013 American Microscopical Society: http://amicros.org/?page_id=534
2013 Friday Harbor Laboratories feature: http://depts.washington.edu/fhl/enews/winter2013/misty.html
2011 Inside JEB Feature:
2011 American Elasmobranch Society: http://elasmo.org/pastawardwinners.php
2010 UCI COSMOS program
I am affiliated with Manta.org. Please visit this site to learn more about other ongoing manta ray research.
For a link to my work from FHL visit
All images on this website belong to Misty Paig-Tran, The Journal of Experimental Biology, and the Journal of Morphology. Please feel free to use these images for presentations as long as you give me credit. No images may be shared for other purposes, including websites, without my permission.