Devin Bloom, Principal Investigator

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I am interested in the interaction between ecological dynamics and evolutionary processes and patterns. For much of my research, I use phylogenetics, comparative methods, molecular techniques, natural history collections and field work to understand the genesis of biodiversity. You can follow along on twitter @bloomchovies.

Email: devin.bloom at
Phone: 269-387-5608
Office: Wood Hall 2119
Mailing address:
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5410

Graduate Students

Kim Foster, PhD student


I am interested in the patterns of freshwater diversity. In particular, I am interested in the connection between form and function in fishes. I utilize phylogenetic comparative methods to study such patterns and processes. For my master’s degree, I worked on an enigmatic family of Freshwater fishes, the Goodeidae. I looked at body shape rates and modularity to test hypotheses of adaptive radiation between the two subfamilies. I also evaluated their interesting pre-placental like structures called ‘trophotaeniae’ to determine taxonomic significance, and how those structures may have played a role in species diversification. I plan on continuing my interest into functional morphology in the Bloom Lab for my doctoral degree. When I am not working on fishes, you can find me working out, gardening, and finding anyway to get sweaty

Shelby Smith, M.S. student


My research interests focus primarily on evolutionary ecology, specifically comparative morphology in reptiles and fish. I am currently investigating trophic niche evolution inGreat Lakes alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) and comparing them to their native anadromous counterparts, as well as other east coast landlocked populations.

In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors playing tennis, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and scuba diving. I also love to draw and paint, when I have time. I’m also taking up golf under the guidance of my boyfriend who was a former golf pro, but for now, it’s a work in progress.

Undergraduate students

Zac Stoner
Ben Schreck
Kory Kirsten
Rebecca Everts

Lab Manager

Tiktaalik (AKA Teek)  – Teek works closely with Devin investigating Ringneck Pheasant habitat preference, trail running, hiking, discussion of all research topics, and snuggling.

Lab Alumni


Helen Watrous – starting M.S. program at University of Miami fall 2018
Daniel Buehler
Jane Thayer – Medical Technologist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
Nicholas McBryan