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Santa Cruz, CA

Functional morphologist and evolutionary biologist

Labroides-dimidiatus-cleaning-Bodianus-rufus.jpg

Welcome!

Bicolor cleaner wrasse (cleared & stained)

Bicolor cleaner wrasse (cleared & stained)

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Anna's hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird

Welcome to my personal site. I am an evolutionary biologist and functional morphologist.

Apparent gaps between form and function not only provide some of the most interesting challenges to resolve in biomechanics, but also reveal that our understanding of what drives organismal diversity is incomplete.

I am drawn to questions of how vertebrates integrate (often numerous) musculoskeletal components to perform behaviors, and how these form-function relationships, placed in ecological context, have influenced vertebrate evolution. I like to start with focused, mechanistic studies that answer questions about kinematic, physiological, and neuromuscular control of behavior. What I learn from these studies then informs broader, comparative investigations of how ecology and evolution shape organismal design.

For more, check out my Research page.

I attained my Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology in 2016 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. My doctoral advisor was Rita Mehta, with whom I continued in a short stint as a postdoc. I am now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Zoology Department at the University of British Columbia, working with Doug Altshuler.

In my spare time, I also enjoy reading about mythology, shooting photos, and watching NBA basketball. I'd undoubtedly beat you in a James Harden look-alike contest.

Contact me: vbaliga@zoology.ubc.ca

Other info:

GitHub: profile and Jekyll Blog

Google Scholar: profile

ORCID: 0000-0002-9367-8974

ResearcherID: H-1546-2013

ResearchGate: profile