Post Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Shirel Kahane-Rapport

Dr. Kahane-Rapport completed her Ph.D. at Stanford using an integrative approach to understand how body size affects the biomechanics and ecophysiology of baleen whales. In addition, she is interested in the functional morphology and fluid dynamics of filter-feeding in large-bodied animals (manta rays, whale sharks, and baleen whales). Dr. Kahane-Rapport uses 3D modeling to investigate filtration performance and is currently optimizing a bio-inspired microplastic filter based on manta rays. 


Dr. Kahane-Rapport was awarded a NSF PRFB. 




Vandenberg, M.L., Cohen, K., Reuben, B., Goldbogen, J., Summers, A.P.,Paig-Tran, E.W.M., and Kahane-Rapport, S. Morphology and scaling in the baleen in rorquals. In review.  


Graduate Students

Chelsea Bowers - Microplastics in commercially important food fishes. (2019- ). Chelsea is interested in conservation and urban pollution. She continues to work on critically important oyster restoration while also studying microplastic pollution in commercially important fishes in the FABB Lab. Chelsea's project (Funding: CSU COAST RAPID; CSU COAST Graduate Fellowship) is assessing microplastic pollution levels in one of the largest fisheries (sardines) in California. 


Chelsea is the recipient of multiple research awards including a COAST graduate award, the Coppel and the Hillman-McClanahan graduate research awards. She recently was selected to compete at the all CSU research competition. 



Maddy Wilson (2019- )

Maddy is interested in biological modeling is busy investigating hearing and bone conduction in mysticete whales. Her project is heavily anatomy based and incorporates both physical and computational modeling.


Maddy is the recipient of the CSU Violet Horn Fellowship. 



Jahnita DeMoranville (2021- )

Jahnita is interested in all things pointy. She has a passion for sharks and cephalopods. Jahnita is investigating scaling and bite performance of market squid. 


Jahnita received the Eugenie Clark Summer field program to learn shark field handling. 



Katie Kern (2021- )

Katie is interested in the functional morphology of chimera tenacula (cephalic and pre-pelvic). She will tackle a project investigating functional performance across the clade. 



Nicole Steplewski (2021- )

Nicole is interested in large-scale filtration and is investigating the filtration mechanics and performance of whale shark feeding. Nicole's research uses a blend of anatomical investigation and 3D modeling to understand filtration performance of the largest fish in the sea. 




Julia Teeple (2022- )

Undergrad and SCERP Fellow (2019-2021). 

Julia is working on a project investigating the performance of armadillo armor. 


Julia's undergrad research investigated fluid flow and its contributions to filtration in filter-feeding sharks (whale sharks, basking sharks, and megamouth sharks). She looks at how tooth shape affects flow downstream of the oral cavity. She was also involved in a project investigating marine microplastic pollution in commercially important oyster populations in southern California. Julia was selected to compete in the all CSU research competition 2022 where she placed 2nd in the undergraduate category. 



Jordyn Neal (2022- )

Jordyn is investigating the filter morphology and performance of megamouth sharks. She will be using various imaging techniques (SEM, Histology) and modeling to figure out how these denticulated filters work to retain prey. 


Jordyn was selected for the CSU Violet Horn Fellowship. 





Justin Hertel (2021- ). Justin is working with Chelsea Bowers on the sardine project. Justin will be completing age and growth estimates for Pacific sardines. 




Visiting Scientists

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: