Post Doctoral Researchers

Dr. Samantha Leigh (July 2019-August 2020).

Dr. Leigh graduated from UCI with a focus on animal physiology. Her integrative and award winning work on sea grass eating sharks made national headlines. Dr. Leigh investigated microplastic contamination in the Southern California Bight (SCB) and looked at ingestion and assimilation of microplastics by marine zooplankton.  She is an avid supporter of science outreach and communication. 


Dr. Leigh is now an Assistant Professor at CSU Dominguez Hills. 


Leigh, S.C., Bowers-Doerning, C. Kaufman, K., Mosqueda, K., Nolasco, R., Teeple, J., and Paig-Tran, E.W.M. Microplastics contaminate surface waters and zooplankton in Southern California. Marine Pollution Bulletin, In review.

Graduate Students

Raj Divi - Biomimetic modeling of manta ray filters (2014-2020). M.S. 2020. 


Divi, R. V., Strother, J. A., & Paig-Tran, E. M. (2018). Manta rays feed using ricochet separation, a novel nonclogging filtration mechanism. Science advances4(9), eaat9533.


U.S. Patent pending application: 16240732. 




Andrew Lowe - Evolution and structural performance of armored fishes (2016-2019). M.S. 2019.


Lowe, A., Summers, A. P., Walter, R., Walker, S., & Paig-Tran, E. M. (2020). Scale performance and composition in a small Amazonian armored catfish, Corydoras trilineatus. Acta Biomaterialia.


Now laboratory technician at Chapman University 


Andrew Barrios -  Freezing and mechanical properties of Scombrid fish bones (2014-2017). M.S. 2017.


Now an Assistant Professor at Santa Ana College.


The effects of freezing on the mechanical properties and composition of anosteocytic bone in Pacific mackerel, Scomber japonicus. In prep.


Paig‐Tran, E. M., Barrios, A. S., & Ferry, L. A. (2016). Presence of repeating hyperostotic bones in dorsal pterygiophores of the oarfish, Regalecus russellii. Journal of Anatomy229(4), 560-567.


Forsgren, K. L., Jamal, H., Barrios, A., & Paig‐Tran, E. M. (2017). Reproductive morphology of oarfish (Regalecus russellii). The Anatomical Record300(9), 1695-1704.




Cameron Trout (2019-2020). Cameron moved on to pursue his dream job. The FABB Lab wishes him all the best and we miss him greatly.

Undergraduate Students

Julia Teeple 2019-2021. Computational fluid dynamics of flow surrounding tooth structures.

Jacob Javier 2017-2020. Whaleshark filter-feeding

Ryan Fitterer 2018-2019. Tooth performance and fatigue testing in sharks.

Leslie Barron 2018. Digging performance in sand crabs and fluidization of their sand bed.

Ashleigh Davies 2018. Haul out performance of walrus teeth.

Lindsay Maldonado 2018. Curation of skulls for teaching lab.  

Shane Brown 2017. Digging mechanics in sand crabs. Now at Cal Fish and Wildlife  

Caitlin Stapp 2016-2017. Denticulation and functional anatomy of reproductive organs in cartilaginous fishes. Now a M.Sc. student at CSULB in the Stankowich lab. 

Arthur Loh 2015-2017. Evolution of denticles on gill arches. 

Arya Moshrefi 2014-2015.  Now working for New York Life Insurance Co.

Lab Alumni Volunteers

Kaycee Coonen (2018)

Megan Nguyen (2017-2018) Now M.Sc. student CSUF.

Belen Chairez (Post Bac) 2015-2016. Now PA-S at CBU in Riverside

Victoria Yang (Post Bac) 2015-2016. 

June Nong (Post Bac) 2015-2016. 

High School Researchers

Wyan Wan (HS student; SCAS Scholar; 2018-2020). Structural mechanics of hyperostoses in oarfishes. Now a student at UCLA. 

William Oertel (HS Student; SCAS Scholar; 2019-2020). Prevalence of microplastics in the LA Harbor and southern California Bight


URE: Project Raise Alumni

2022 - Crystal Enciso

2022 - Ashley Ibrahim

2018 - Christopher Ruiz


Students interested in joining the FABB lab should contact Dr. Paig-Tran directly. Include a short statement of who you are and your research interests. It is helpful to include an updated C.V. 


*Remember, before contacting any professor about joining their lab, make sure that you do your homework. Know what their lab does. Try to read one of their papers or at least an abstract from their papers.


Have a possible research question ready to discuss. This impresses P.I.s and gives you the advantage over students who have not taken the time to look into what happens in that lab.


Contact Misty: