Hello and welcome. My name is Matt Girard, and I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity Institute at the University of Kansas. I am an ichthyologist, or fish person, who enjoys asking questions about the anatomy, evolution, and natural history of fishes. My research specifically focuses on the systematics of perch-like fishes and how both phenotypic and genotypic features can inform our understanding of this group’s evolutionary history. Please explore my publications for more information.
I am a proud member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) and currently serve as the Illustration Editor for Copeia. Consider joining ASIH if you love fishes, amphibians, or reptiles!
I also have a passion for photography and enjoy using different imaging techniques to showcase the morphological features and the fishes that I am working with.
Doctoral Candidate, Current
University of Kansas
Bachelor of Science - Biology with Ecology Emphasis, 2014
Loyola University Chicago
Characterizing the morphology of the Carangiformes
The relationships among Threadfins (Polynemidae)
Anatomy and evolution of Archerfishes (Toxotidae)
I have been fortunate to conduct surveys around the world to observe and catch fishes. Some survey sites include:
I am also an avid angler and SCUBA diver, which has taken me to the freshwaters of the U.S. Great Lakes and saltwaters surrounding Australia and the Caribbean to search for fishes.
A majority of the specimens I have played a role in collecting are housed in the Ichthyology Collection at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum.
Check out some of the photos below which were taken during recent fish-related travels.
Two Sharptail mola, Masturus lanceolatus, in a market
Hello from below
The coast of Hengchun Township
Our vessel for the trip, R/V Robert Gordon Sproul
Picking through fishes in Donggang Township
Honeycomb Cowfish, Acanthostracion polygonius
Sunset over the Pacific
Juvenile Queen Angelfish, Holacanthus ciliaris
The take from a trawl
Hiding Graysby, Cephalopholis cruentata, at night
I truly enjoy taking photographs and trying a variety of imaging techniques to capture the best image I can. These images of cleared-and-double-stained specimens are some of my favorites. Images on a white background were taken under white or natural light and show the stained bones and cartilage of the specimens. Images on a black background were taken under royal blue light and show the autofluorescence of the red stain, as discussed by Smith et al. (2018). I have had the honor of my photos being featured by Nature as one of the best science images of the year in 2018 and featured by the Bruce Museum in their exhibit Under the Skin (February 1–July 19, 2020). Please feel free to reach out to me about my methodology or any of my images.