Matthew Rambo (BYU, REU)

By: Matthew Rambo

June 16, 2015

My name is Matthew Rambo. I’m an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. My major is Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation, which is in the Plant and Wildlife Science Department.  I’m a senior and will graduate in December 2015, and plan to go to grad school.

My interest and academic focus is on freshwater fish, especially looking into behavior, biogeography, conservation, morphology, and physiology. I’m a lab manager of the Evolutionary Ecology Laboratory at BYU’s Life Science building. As a manager, I care for the fish we keep, such as feeding, breeding, water maintenance, and overall health. I have also helped collect many of the fish in the lab, which are mainly poeciliids (see left photo) and cichlids (see right photo), and were collected from Costa Rica and Panama. The research that I have done with freshwater fish includes mark-recapture work on catostomids, cottids, cyprinids, and salmonids. I have also participated in stable isotope studies on fish species in Fish Lake and Lake Powell (both in Utah) by extracting otoliths and tissue samples. I plan to publish a paper on intestinal parasites in western North American stream fishes.

I’m very grateful to be a part of this REU program with Bob Cowen and Su Sponaugle, as well as Kelly Robinson and the many other students, researchers, and crew members aboard the R/V F. G. Walton Smith collecting plankton samples. It’s great to be exposed to marine fish larva and new technologies to answer interesting ecological questions, and to be able to help on such an awesome research cruise.