Phenotyping sensory behavior of wild zebrafish

Kids participating at "Battle of the sensory system" outreach activity

Underwater field research, Lake Xiloa, Nicaragua

Phenotyping sensory behavior of wild zebrafish

I am a Research Scientist at Arizona State University. I study how behavioral, sensory, and metabolic mechanisms allow organisms to keep up with changes in the environment. Using fish models and integrating findings from field and laboratory studies, I place my work in the context of anthropogenic climate change.



April 2020:

Honors student, Alexander Huang, successfully defended his thesis: "Adult zebrafish exposure to BPA impairs behavioral lateralization." Congratulations!


February 2020:

Zebrafish team participated in ASU Open Door with activities on environmental pollutants on fish behavior (Small fish, big splash!). Kids were able to go on a fishing quest to different ecosystems to learn about how pollutants affect fish development and behavior.

January 2020:

I will be teaching Animal Behaviour (Bio 331) in Spring 2020.

November 2019:

Undergraduate researchers, Hafasa Omar and Alexander Huang presented their research at BioSci Southwest Symposium 2019, hosted by ASU SOLS.


October 2019:

Our paper on how color preference affects learning in zebrafish is now available on Scientific Reports.

August 2019:

Undergraduate researchers, Hafsa Omar, Haleigh Boulanger, and Alexander Huang, presented their research at the Martins Lab Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.


May 2019:

I had the privilege to participate at the inaugural meeting of Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior (WFAB). I’m thrilled to be a part of this community and a special thank you to the organizers – Drs. Emilia Martins, Jennifer Fewel, Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, and Claire Horner-Devine.


March 2019:

Finally, we were able to successfully breed wild-caught zebrafish in the lab.


November 2018:

The Zebrafish team went to India to conduct field research. We identified several new populations of zebrafish and brought back some of them for our laboratory experiments.

Our paper on turbidity and sensory shifts just came out in Animal Behaviour.


October 2018:

I started to volunteer at Cielo DISCOVRoom. This is an elementary school program at Kyrene del Cielo, which allows students the freedom to learn more about STEM field, and the kids are choosing to do it on their lunch break.

Our paper on recent experience and zebrafish social behavior is finally out.


August 2018:

Undergraduate researcher, Jennifer Flores, presents her research on the social behavior of wild zebrafish at the first Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Martins Lab.


April 2018:

Dr. Nishad Jayasundara, our collaborator at the University of Maine, visits the Martins Lab.


March 2018:

Loligo swim tunnel is ready for metabolic experiments.

February 2018:

Zebrafish team participated in ASU Open Door with hands-on activities on sensory perception ("Battle of the sensory systems"). This is an outreach event aiming to bring research closer to the community particularly aiming for K12 crowd.


January 2018:

I presented the work on zebrafish sensory behavior in a changing environment at the Society of Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting in San Francisco.