Current research

1) Function and biomaterials of deep sea fish bones (dragonfish and hatchetfish).


2) Osteoderm performance in armadillos (collaboration with Dr. Ted Stankowich and M.S. Caitlin Stapp and MS Julia Teeple). 


3) Hearing performance in mysticete whales

(M.S. Maddy Wilson in collaboration with Dr. Theodore Cranford and Dr. Petr Krysl)

Work in part supported by CSU Violet Horn Fellowship. 


4)  Animal bite/jaw performance - Piranhas - M.S. Andrew Lowe, Squid - M.S. Jahnita DeMoranville)


5) Tooth fatigue and replacement in sharks (Undergraduate Ryan Fitterer in collaboration with Dr. Lisa Whitenack)


6) Microplastics pollution and remediation in commercially important food fishes and coastal waters of the Southern California Bight

(M.S. Chelsea Bowers, undergraduate Justin Hertel in collaboration with Dr. Samantha Leigh)

Work in part supported by CSU COAST RAPID funds, CSU COAST Graduate Funding, CSUF Coppel Funding, CSUF Jr/Sr Grant.  


7) Function and performance of accessory reproductive organs in chimeras.

(M.S. Katie Kern)


8) Filter performance in whale sharks

(M.S. Nicole Steplewski, B.S. Julia Teeple in collaboration with Dr. James Strother)

Work in part supported by NSF IOS funding. 


Previous projects

1) Evolution and development of hyperostosis in marine fishes (oarfishes) - Collaboration with Dr. Lara Ferry

2) Jaw performance in ribbonfishes Collaboration with Dr. Lara Ferry

3) Fish scales as a model for new armor technology (armored catfish) - Andrew Lowe

4) Mechanical performance and freezing of bone in tunas and their relatives - Andrew Barrios

5) Manta ray filtration  - Raj Divi

6) Digging performance and fluidization of sand beds in sand crabs (SCERP)

Selected Publications

Paig-Tran et al. 2013
Paig-Tran et al. 2013


Book Chapters

Paig-Tran, E.W.M. Porter, M.A., Ferry, L.A., and Whitenack, L. Edited by Carrier, Simpfendorfer, Heitaus, and Yopak. (2022). How to Build a shark: Biomechanics and Bioinspiration. in Biology of sharks and their relatives III. Chapter 3. 



Shiffman, D., Arguedas Alvarez, T., Bangley, C.B., Boyt, R., Cote, I., Daly-Engel, T.S., Davis, A.C.D., Chan Gaskins, L.C., Graham, J., Graham, R., Johri,S., Macdonald, C.C., Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Roca, A., Schwieterman, G.D.,Whitenack, L.B., Wiley,T.R., Ferry, L.A. What can Professional Scientific Societies do to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Case Study of the AmericanElasmobranch Society.Frontiers in Education, STEM Education. In press.


Lantsoght, E.O.L., Crepaldi, Y.T., Tavares, S., Leemans, K., and Paig-Tran, E.W.M. (2021). Challenges and opportunities for academic parents during COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychology. 3353.


Lowe, A., Summers, A. P., Walter, R., Walker, S., & Paig-Tran, E. M. (2021). Scale performance and composition in a small Amazonian armored catfish, Corydoras trilineatusActa Biomaterialia. 121. 359-370.


Shiffman, D. S., Ajemian, M. J., Carrier, J. C., Daly-Engel, T. S., Davis, M. M., Dulvy, N. K., ... & Nash, C. S. (2020). Trends in Chondrichthyan Research: An Analysis of Three Decades of Conference Abstracts. Copeia, 108(1), 122-131.


Ferry, L. A., Paig‐Tran, E. W., Summers, A. P., & Liem, K. F. (2019). Extreme premaxillary protrusion in the king‐of‐the‐salmon, Trachipterus altivelisJournal of morphology, 280(12), 1865-1870.


Divi, R.V., Strother, J.A. and Paig-Tran, E.M., (2018). Manta rays feed using ricochet separation, a novel nonclogging filtration mechanism. Science Advances, 4(9), p.eaat9533.


Forsgren, K.L., Jamal, H., Barrios, A. & Paig-Tran. E.W.M. (2017). Reproductive morphology of oarfish (Regalecus russellii). The Anatomical Record, 300:9. 1695-1704.


Paig‐Tran, E. W., Barrios, A. S., & Ferry, L. A. (2016). Presence of repeating hyperostotic bones in dorsal pterygiophores of the oarfish, Regalecus russelliiJournal of Anatomy, 229(4), 560-567. 


Hinojosa-Alvarez, S., Walter, R. P., Diaz-Jaimes, P., Galván-Magaña, F., & Paig-Tran, E. M. (2016). A potential third Manta Ray species near the Yucatán Peninsula? Evidence for a recently diverged and novel genetic Manta group from the Gulf of Mexico. PeerJ, 4, e2586.  


Ferry, L.A., Paig-Tran, E., and Gibb, A. (2015). Suction, ram, and biting: deviations and limitations to aquatic prey capture. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 55:1. 97-109.


Paig-Tran, E.W.M. and Summers, A.P. (2014). Comparison of the structure and composition of the branchial filters of suspension feeding elasmobranchs. The Anatomical Record.  297:4. 701-715.


Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Kleinteich, T., and Summers, A.P. (2013). The filter pads and filtration mechanisms of the devil rays: variation at macro and microscopic scales (Manta Walbaum 1792 and Mobula Rafinesque 1810). J. Morph. 274:7. 1026-1043. Cover.


Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Bizzarro, J.J., Strother, J.A., and Summers, A.P. (2011) Bottle as models: Predicting the effects of varying swimming speed and morphology on size selectivity and filtration efficiency in fishes. J. Exp. Biol. 214: 1643-1654. Cover.


Patent granted!

We have received a U.S. utility patent for bio-inspired manta ray filters for use in ricochet filtration. 

Paig-Tran, Strother, and Divi. 

U.S. Patent(2019): 16/240,732. 

Field Work

A portion of my research takes me to the the Yucatan Peninsula where I actively study manta rays with my collaborator Silvia Hinojosa Alvarez. This work was supported by funding from a National Geographic Society Waitts Grant. 



You can read more about this work here:  

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: