James C. Liao, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
jliao “at” whitney.ufl.edu
View: CV  | Google Scholar  | Neurotree

Jimmy received a B.A. in Biology from Wesleyan University in 1996 where he worked on elasmobranch electroreception in David Bodznick’s laboratory. He completed his Ph.D. in Biology at Harvard University from 1999-2004 investigating how fish swim in turbulent flows in George Lauder’s laboratory. He then worked as a postdoctoral research assistant at Cornell University from 2004-2008 on the neural circuits of behavior in zebrafish in Joe Fetcho’s laboratory. He started as an assistant professor in the biology department at University of Florida in 2009. He is currently funded by the NIH and NSF.

EliasElias Lunsford
Biology Graduate Student
elunsford “at” ufl.edu

Elias received a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Ecology from Seattle Pacific University in 2013. While at SPU he studied the chemically mediated interactions of sea stars and mussels when exposed to natural borne toxins as consequence of harmful algal blooms, with Dr. Ryan Ferrer. He later was a research intern at the University of Washington in a neuroethology lab with Dr. Jeff Riffell, investigating the olfaction-gated flight behavior of pollinators in response to different chemical constituents of flower aromas. Joining the Liao Lab in 2016, Elias plans to investigate the integration of two sensory modalities, chemical sensing and flow sensing, and how fish alter their swimming behavior to effectively sense and track a chemical stimulus in a turbulent flow environment.


AreejAreej Habib
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student
areej.h “at” ufl.edu

Areej Habib joined the lab in the Fall semester of 2016 as a master’s student from the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She received her BSc (Engg) in Biotechnology from National Institute of Technology, Warangal in India. Her project entails analyzing tri-axial accelerometer recordings from freely behaving red drum (Scianeops occellatus) and using it to classify different locomotive activities. One of the goals is to identify which sensor location provides the critical data for classifying motor behaviors and recognize the patterns characteristic to each of these behaviors. Overall, we would like to develop a technique using wireless accelerometer tags to track marine animals in the wild with fine spatial and temporal resolution.

Besides her exploratory science ambitions she enjoys going on nature trails and looks forward to spending a day just laying in the hammock with the sun and Robert Jordan’s “The Dragon Reborn”.



Yuzo Yanagitsuru
Biology Graduate Student
yyanagit “at” whitney.ufl.edu

Yuzo received a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, and a B.S. in Earth Science from University of California, San Diego in 2014. As an undergraduate he investigated the respiratory and metabolic physiology of air-breathing fishes and the gill physiology of flatfishes at Scripps Institution of Oceanography with Dr. Jeffrey Graham and Dr. Martin Tresguerres, respectively. He also worked as an undergraduate assistant at the Scripps Marine Vertebrate Collection. He was an NSF REU intern in the Liao lab in Summer 2013 and came back to join the lab in 2015. He is investigating how fish morphology and swimming behavior affects their ability to detect water flow.

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