Dr. Noah Bressman is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Chapman University. He received his PhD from Wake Forest University studying biomechanics, functional morphology, and behavior. More specifically, Noah focuses his studies on amphibious fishes, how they move around on land, how they find their way around on land, and why they go onto land.
Noah has always had a passion for fish since the day he was born, but his experiences with amphibious fishes began the summer after his freshman year of college. While taking a summer marine biology course at Shoals Marine Lab, Noah noticed a 2" fish had escaped from a tank and moved about 10 feet away. He thought this was odd, but put the fish back. The next day, another fish escaped and went to the exact same spot on the tile floor! This couldn't have been a coincidence, so Noah began his investigation. He found out this species of fish, the mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), is capable of breathing air to some extent. Using high-speed videos, he was able to describe how they can effectively move around on land using a combination of a jumping and uprighting behaviors.
After getting a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Noah was able to continue this research the next summer, and went on to describe how they can orient and navigate toward water (and other reflective surfaces like foil and tile). He published this research in the Journal of Experimental Zoology, which was publicized on Gizmodo and Discovery Canada's show, Daily Planet.
Noah continues to study the fascinating field of amphibious fishes, and shares research updates on social media at his page: facebook.com/noahcarlfish, and on Instagram and Twitter @NoahwithFish. He also educates the public on fish biology through his biological artwork and the scientific blog that he maintains for the Discovery Channel Show, A Fishing Story.