The Kindsvater Lab studies basic and applied questions in marine and freshwater systems, from high seas fisheries to Appalachian salamanders. Our research is focused on the evolution and ecology of ectotherm life histories, including growth and reproductive behavior of freshwater fish, salamanders, lobsters, and marine fishes.

Current Projects

  • Mating system dynamics and fisheries

    Mating system dynamics and fisheries

    Studies of ecological dynamics - including fisheries models - usually assume reproduction is a single parameter, regardless of variability among females and their mates. We study how social interactions and variation in mate quality affect reproduction in many species, including wrasses, lobsters, swordtails, and darters. We use models to understand the consequences of this variability for population dynamics.

  • Socio-ecological drivers of fisheries sustainability

    Socio-ecological drivers of fisheries sustainability

    In collaboration with Leandro Castello at VT and other researchers, we have a project developing integrated models of the dynamics of arapaima and the fishing communities that depend on them as a resource.

  • Database curation

    Database curation

    To aid in species’ assessments, we have developed a database of life history trait information, Sharkipedia. We are expanding this database to include data on population trends over time for elasmobranchs. This project is a collaborative effort between our lab, the Global Shark Trends Project, and the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, and is supported by the Shark Conservation Fund and NSF.
    Click the globe to visit Sharkipedia.

  • Assessments of understudied species

    Assessments of understudied species

    Life histories and population dynamics are constrained by the fundamental principles of physiology, behavior, and species interactions. The lab has ongoing projects aimed at producing assessments of the extinction risk of aquatic species that are threatened by overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change.