My research integrates physiological and behavioral ecology to advance our understanding of the generation, maintenance, and conservation of aquatic biodiversity. Fundamentally, I am interested in understanding why (and how) some animals can rapidly respond to human-induced environmental shifts while others cannot. I use freshwater fish as a model organism for elucidating these mechanisms because they are (i) currently experiencing severe and rapid environmental change due to human activities from local to global scales, and (ii) are amenable to manipulative field and laboratory studies. My research integrates lab and field studies with theory from physiological and behavioral ecology to examine the responses of freshwater fishes to rapid and severe environmental change. Specifically, I address the following broad questions:
a) The effect of human-induced water color and clarity changes on the biodiversity of native North American fishes.
b) Influence of multiple stressors (e.g. turbidity, hypoxia) on the evolutionary trajectory of an African cichlid across environmental gradients.
c) Turbidity tolerance and conservation of North American fishes.
*see my curriculum vitae for full publication list
Gray, S.M. Muddy Waters: The Influence of Soil and Sediment on Aquatic Life. In Lal, R. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Taylor & Francis. Accepted.
Nyboer, Elizabeth A., Suzanne M. Gray, Lauren J. Chapman. 2014. A colourful youth: ontogenetic colour change is habitat specific in the invasive Nile perch. Hydrobiologia 738 (1): 221-234.
Pfaender, J., S.M. Gray, S. Chapuis, I. Rick, R.K. Hadiaty and F. Herder. 2013. Spectral data reveal unexpected cryptic color polymorphism in female sailfin silverside fish. Hydrobiologia DOI 10.1007/s10750-013-1557-y In press.
Gray, S.M., L.J. Chapman, and N.E. Mandrak. 2012. Turbidity reduces hatching success in Threatened Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus). Environmental Biology of Fishes 94: 689-694.
Gray, S.M., L.H. McDonnell, F.G. Cinquemani, and L.J. Chapman. 2012. As clear as mud: turbidity induces behavioral changes in the African cichlid Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor. Current Zoology 58: 143-154.
Gray, S.M., S. Sabbah, and C.W. Hawryshyn. 2011. Experimentally increased turbidity causes behavioural shifts in Lake Malawi cichlids. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 20: 529-536.
Crispo, E., J.-S. Moore, J. Lee-Yaw, S.M. Gray, and B. Haller. 2011. Human impacts on gene flow and the consequences for biodiversity. BioEssays 33: 508-518.
Gray, S.M., T.J. Lisney, F. Hart, M. Tremblay, and C.W. Hawryshyn. 2011. The effects of handling time, ambient light and anaesthetic method on the standardized measurement of fish colouration. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68: 330-342.
Watson, C.T., S.M. Gray, M. Hoffmann, K.P. Lubieniecki, B.S. Sandkam, Detlef Weigel, E.R. Loew, C. Dreyer, W.S. Davidson, F. Breden. 2011. Gene duplication and divergence of long wavelength-sensitive opsin genes in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Journal of Molecular Evolution 72: 240-252.
van der Sluijs, I.* S.M. Gray*, M.C.P. Amorim , I. Barber, U. Candolin, A. Hendry, R. Krahe, M.E. Maan, A.C. Utne-Palm, H.J. Wagner, and B.B.M. Wong. 2011. Communication in troubled waters: The evolutionary implications of changing environments on fish communication systems. Evolutionary Ecology 25: 623-640 (*equal contributors).
Sabbah, S., R.L. Laria, S.M. Gray, and C.W. Hawryshyn. 2010. Functional diversity in the color vision of cichlid fishes. BMC Biology 8: 133.
Gray, S.M., L.M. Dill, F.Y. Tantu, E.R. Loew, F. Herder, and J.S. McKinnon. 2008. Environment contingent sexual selection in a colour polymorphic fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 275: 1785-1791.
Gray, S.M., J.S. McKinnon, F.Y. Tantu, and L.M. Dill. 2008. “Sneaky eating” in Telmatherina sarasinorum, an endemic egg-eating fish from Lake Matano, Sulawesi. Journal of Fish Biology73:1-4.
Gray, S.M. and J.S. McKinnon. 2007. Linking colour polymorphism maintenance and speciation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22:71-79.
Gray, S.M., L.M. Dill and J.S. McKinnon. 2007. Cuckoldry incites cannibalism. American Naturalist 169: 258-263.
Gray, S.M. and J.S. McKinnon. 2006. A comparative description of mating behaviour in the endemic telmatherinid fishes of Sulawesi’s Malili Lakes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 75 (4): 469-480.
Gray, S.M., B.W. Robinson, and K.J. Parsons. 2005. Testing ecological character displacement against alternative explanations of character shifts in brook sticklebacks (Culaea inconstans). Oecologia 146: 25-35.
Gray, S.M. and B.W. Robinson. 2002. Experimental evidence that competition between stickleback species favours adaptive character divergence. Ecology Letters 5: 264-272.
Taxonomy and Behavior of Fishes (Autumn 2015)
Environment & Natural Resources Management Capstone (Spring 2015, Spring 2016)ENR 8890.01
Fisheries and Wildlife Science Seminar (Autumn 2014)
ENR 5358 Applied Vertebrate Physiological Ecology (coming Spring 2017)