Christopher D. Marshall

Department of Marine Biology

Christopher D. Marshall

Phone: +1 (409) 740.4884
Fax: +1 (409) 740.5001

Ocean & Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 253


Learn more about Christopher D. Marshall

My research focuses on the functional, ecological, & evolutionary aspects of how vertebrates detect, acquire, ingest and digest food. My program is integrative and comparative in nature. This work falls within the conceptual framework of ecological morphology & physiology and is conducted at the functional organismal level (morphology and physiology), behavioral, and ecological levels. The central concept of this field is that morphology and physiology influences an organism’s ecology through constraints of behavioral performance, which is the capacity of an animal to exploit its natural resources, and explore its environment. Although investigations of morphology, physiology, and behavior stand on their own, ultimately the integration of these studies can explain how organisms interact with their environment, the evolution of functional complexes, and the pressure selections involved in driving adaptations.
Ph.D. Functional Morphology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1997
M.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center, Dania, FL, 1992
 Biology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 1990
Courses Taught

MARB 315: Natural History of Vertebrates
MARB 668: Marine Evolutionary Biology


Ginter-Summarell, C.C., Ingole, S., Fish, F.E., and MARSHALL, C.D. 2015. Comparative analysis of the flexural stiffness of pinniped vibrissae. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0127941. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127941.

MARSHALL, C.D., Rozas, K., Kot B, Gill, V. 2014. Innervation Patterns of Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) Mystacial Follicle-Sinus Complexes: Support For A Specialized Somatosensory System. Frontiers of Neuroanatomy DOI: 10.3389/fnana.2014.00121.

McGovern, K.A., Davis, R.W., MARSHALL, C.D. 2014. Are vibrissae of northern elephant seals viable sensory structure for prey capture? Anatomical Record 298(4): 750-760 DOI: 10.1002/ar.2306100.

Ahrens, J.B., Kudenov, J.D., MARSHALL, C.D., Schulze, A. 2014. Regeneration of posterior segments and terminal structures in the bearded-fireworm, Hermodice carunculata (Annelida: Amphinomidae). Journal of Morphology

Robinson, E.M., Lunt, J., MARSHALL, C.D., Smee, D.L. 2014. Easter oysters (Crassostrea virginica) deter crab predators by altering their morphology in response to crab cues. Aquatic Biology 20:111–118

MARSHALL, C.D., Marsh A., Wieskotten, S., Kot, B., Hanke W., Hanke, F., Dehndardt, G. 2014. Feeding kinematics, suction, and hydraulic jetting capabilities in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). PLoS ONE, Published January 24, 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086710

MARSHALL, C.D., Wang, J., Rocha, A., Godinez-Reyes, C., Fisler, S., Narazaki, T., Katsufumi, S., Sterba-Boatwright, B.D. 2014. Scaling of bite performance with head and carapace morphometrics in green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 451:91-97 DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2013.11.004

Hanke, W., Wieskotten, S., Kruger, Y., Glaser, N., MARSHALL, C.D., and G. Dehnhardt. 2013. Hydrodynamic Reception in Pinnipeds. Special Issue on Sensory Systems in Aquatic Mammals. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: 199:421–440.

Current Graduate Students

Paige Breon, M.S. Student

Michael “Bryan” Gahn, M.S. Student

Madelyn Rupp, Ph.D. Student