Peter C. Wainwright

Peter Wainwright

Position Title

Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology
Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute

6330 Storer

Profile Introduction

Evolution and ecology of vertebrate biomechanics.

Research Interests

Evolution and ecology of functional morphology, especially feeding mechanisms of fishes and other vertebrates; locomotion; phenotypic plasticity; complexity; diversity.

Evolution and ecology of vertebrate biomechanics.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Ecology
  • Population Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Behavior, Physiology and Morphology
  • Evolutionary Ecology and Life History Strategies
  • Systematics and Comparative Biology


  • EVE 105 Phylo Anly/Vrtbrate
  • EVE 211 Applied Phylogenetics
  • PBG 200C Principles of Population Biology

Field Sites

  • Great Barrier Reef, Palau, Belize, Bahamas, Bonaire, Florida


  • 1988 PhD Anatomy University of Chicago


Wainwright, P. C., W. L. Smith, S. A. Price, K. L. Tang, L. A. Ferry-Graham, J. S. Sparks and T. J. Near. In Press. The evolution of pharyngognathy: a phylogenetic and functional appraisal of the pharyngeal jaw key innovation in labroid fishes and beyond. Systematic Biology.

Holzman, R., Collar, D. C., Mehta, R. S. & P. C. Wainwright. 2012. An integrative approach to elucidate suction feeding performance. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215:1-13.

Holzman, R. S., D. C. Collar, R. S. Mehta & P. C. Wainwright. 2011. Mechanical complexity can mitigate evolutionary trade-offs. American Naturalist. 177:E69-E83.

Price, S. A., Holzman, R., Near, T. J. & Wainwright, P. C. 2011. Coral reefs promote the evolution of morphological diversity and ecological novelty in labrid fishes. Ecology Letters. 14:462-469.