Research Interests

Dr. Crampton’s research program investigates the ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary mechanisms that generate and regulate species diversity. With more than 6,000 species, Neotropical freshwater fishes represent the richest vertebrate fauna on earth (c. 10% of all vertebrates). The Crampton lab is interested in how this diversity is generated and maintained, how resilient it is to human pressure, and how it can be protected. To approach these questions the lab uses, as a model group, the gymnotiform electric knifefishes. These remarkable fishes generate stereotyped, species-specific electric communication signals that provide an unparalleled opportunity to understand the mechanisms of diversification. The lab is currently focusing on reproductive isolating mechanisms in pulse-generating gymnotiforms, and on a taxonomic revision of the families Gymnotidae and Hypopomidae. Dr. Crampton and his collaborators are also undertaking a long term program of freshwater fish biodiversity inventories in the Amazon basin.