Kathleen S. Cole

Kathleen S. Cole

Associate Professor

Evolution of Behavior, Morphology and Developmental Biology



EDM 416


(808) 956-8618


(808) 956-4745

Research Interests

My interests focus on the evolution of behavioral, morphological and developmental processes among vertebrates, with a concentrated interest in reef fishes. My research program currently encompasses all three. In the area of behavior, I'm currently engaged in a broad-based study on the evolution of reproductive and sexual patterns in tropical marine fish taxa, in the context of behavioral, ecological and life history factors. My morphological interests are centered on comparative gonad morphology among functionally hermaphroditic fish species, and the application of gonad characters to elucidate underlying phylogenetic relationships.

My developmental interests focus on larval development in marine fishes, particularly in the areas of skeletal and nervous system development. Presently, I am carrying out two focused studies, including: the effect of loading, through swimming action, on rates of ossification in newly metamorphosed fish larvae; and the effect of modeled microgravity, using a ground-based analogue, on the development of the skeletal and nervous systems in a small, mangrove fish, Rivulus marmoratus. In addition, I am also carrying out a study of temporal patterns of larval fish community composition, a project that has been ongoing in Belize for three years.

Selected Publications

Mundy, B.C., Cole, K.S., Chave, E.H., Moffitt, R.B. 2011. Two deep-sea spiny eels, Notacanthus abbotti and Lipogenys gillii (Albuliformes: Notacanthidae), from the Hawaiian Archipelago and Emperor Seamounts with notes on their identification and biogeography. Ichthyological Research 58:263–271. DOI 10.1007/s10228-011-0225-3

Cole, K.S. 2011. Patterns of reproductive morphology in the genus, Gobiodon (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes. DOI: 10.1007/s10641-011-9842-y

Cole, K.S. 2010. Gonad morphology in hermaphroditic gobies. In: Reproduction and Sexuality in Marine Fishes (K.S. Cole, ed), University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 117-162