Assistant Professor
(206) 221-6488 (office)
(206) 221-7568 (lab)
Lab Website
KIN 508

Research Overview



The long-term goal of my research program is to understand the connections among morphology, function, behavior and ecology, and how these factors interact to result in ecological radiations. My work is focused on mammals, with a particular emphasis on bats. This group is one of the most ecologically and morphologically diverse lineages within mammals and thus offer a unique opportunity to investigate patterns and mechanisms of diversification. I apply a comparative and integrative approach to my research, involving data collection in the field from free-ranging animals, along with lab techniques for the study of behavior, morphology, biomechanics and evolutionary patterns. By doing this work within a broad comparative context, I am able to test hypotheses about adaptations and diversification.

Selected Publications

Santana SE, Cheung E. Go big or go fish: morphological specializations in carnivorous bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2016;283527214295212427546411712901729729464283A761022835882720241433023(1830):20160615.
Santana SE, Dobson SD, Diogo R. Plain faces are more expressive: comparative study of facial colour, mobility and musculature in primates. Biology Letters. 2014;102702642791392153048319579024401138656598397(5Suppl_2173633311416756112853):20140275.
Santana SE, Lynch Alfaro J, Alfaro ME. Adaptive evolution of facial colour patterns in Neotropical primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2012;279(1736):2204-11.
Dumont ER, Davalos LM, Goldberg A, Santana SE, Rex K, Voigt CC. Morphological innovation, diversification and invasion of a new adaptive zone. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2012;279(1734):1797-805.
Santana SE, Dumont ER. Do roost-excavating bats have stronger skulls? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2010;102(1):1-10.