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Contact Information:
Department of
Biological Sciences
120 Flagg Road,
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881 - 0816.
Phone: (401) 874-2373.
Fax: (401) 874-2065.
Jacqueline F. Webb
Job Title: Professor of Biological Sciences and Coordinator, Marine Biology Program (Sensory biology and development of fishes)
Address: CBLS 293,
Phone: (401) 874-2609
  • B.S. (Biological Sciences, with a concentration in Ecology, Systematics and Evolution), 1979, Cornell University
  • Ph.D. (Biology), 1988, Boston University
  • Bio 360 Marine Biology
  • Bio 412/512 Evolution and Diversity of Fishes
  • Bio 593 Sensory Biology
  • Bio 594 Fish Development
Research Interests

My lab investigates the development and evolution of cranial sensory systems in fishes. In particular, we are interested in the development and evolution of the lateral line system, and we have focused on a variety of teleost fish taxa (e.g, cichlids, butterflyfishes, zebrafish, flounders, greenlings). Each of these taxa has interesting and unique attributes, which has allowed us to ask fundamental questions about lateral line evolution and patterns and mechanisms of development in the lateral system. We are currently working on several projects: 1) Development and Evolution of an Adaptive Phenotype in the Lateral Line System – an investigation of the development and behavioral significance of widened lateral line canals in the Lake Malawi peacock cichlids (Aulonocara), and a comparison of the development of narrow and widened canals to test a hypothesis of heterochrony. (Funded by NSF grant IOS-0843307). 2) the development of the lateral line system in elasmobranch fishes, 3) other aspects of the development and evolution of fish sensory system. For additional information, consult my webpage:

  1. Webb, JF, Bird, NC, Carter, L, Dickson, J. Comparative development and evolution of two lateral line phenotypes in Lake Malawi cichlids. Journal of Morphology – accepted with minor revisions.
  2. Schwalbe, MAB and Webb, JF. Sensory basis for detection of benthic prey in two Lake Malawi cichlids. Zoology, in press.
  3. Webb, JF. 2013. Morphological diversity, evolution and development of the mechanosensory lateral line system. In: (Coombs S, and Bleckmann, H. eds) The Lateral Line. [Springer Handbook of Auditory Research] NY: Springer-Verlag.
  4. Webb, JF, Walsh, RM, Casper, B and Mann, DA, Kelly, N., Cicchino, N. 2012. Ontogeny of the ear, hearing capabilities, and laterophysic connection in the Spotfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ocellatus). Environmental Biology of Fishes. 95: 275-290.
  5. Schwalbe, MAB, Bassett DK and Webb JF. 2012. Feeding in the dark: Lateral line mediated feeding behavior in the peacock cichlid, Aulonocara stuartgranti. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 2060-2071
  6. Webb J.F. 2011. Lateral Line Structure. In: Farrell A.P., (ed.), Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology: From Genome to Environment, volume 1, pp. 336–346.San Diego: Academic Press.
  7. Webb, JF, Herman, JL, Woods, CF and Ketten, DR. 2010. The ears of butterflyfishes: “Hearing generalists” on noisy coral reefs? J. Fish Biol. 77: 1434-1451.
  8. Webb, J.F., Fay, R.R. and Popper, A.N. (editors). 2008. Fish Bioacoustics. NY: Springer-Verlag. In press.
  9. Webb JF, Montgomery JC, Mogdans J. 2008. Bioacoustics and the lateral line system of fishes. pp. 145-182. In: Fish Bioacoustics (eds. Webb JF, Fay RR, Popper AN) Springer-Verlag, NY.
  10. Schilling, TF and Webb JF. 2007. Considering the zebrafish in comparative context. Journal of Experimental Zoology B – Molecular Development and Evolution. 308B: 1-8.
  11. Webb, JF, Smith, W.L., Ketten, D.R. 2006. The laterophysic connection and swim bladder in butterflyfishes in the genus Chaetodon (Perciformes: Chaetodontidae). J. Morphology. 267:1338–1355.
  12. Webb, J.F. and Schilling, T.F. 2006. Zebrafish in Comparative Context: A Symposium. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 46(5): 569–576.
  13. Tarby, M.L. and Webb, J.F. 2003a. Development of the supraorbital and mandibular lareral line canals in the cichlid, Archocentrus nigrofasciatus. J. Morphology 254:44-57.
  14. Smith W.L., Webb, J.F., and Blum, S.D. 2003b. The evolution of the laterophysic connection with a revised phylogeny and taxonomy of butterflyfishes (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae) Cladistics. 19:287-306
  15. Webb, J.F. and Shirey, J.E.2003c Post-embryonic development of the lateral line canals and neuromasts int he zebrafish. Developmental Dynamics ( Zebrafish As Model System - Special Issue). 228:370-385.
  16. Streelman, J.T., Webb, J.F., Albertson, R.C.* and Kocher, T.D. 2003. The cusp of evolution and development: A model of cichlid tooth shape diversity. Evolution and Development. 5(6): 600-608.
  17. Webb, JF and Smith, W.L. 2000. The laterophysic connection in chaetodontid butterflyfish: Morphological variation and speculations on sensory function. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 355: 1125-1129
  18. Webb, J.F. 1999. Diversity of Fish Larvar in Development and Evolution, pp.109-158. In: (Hall, BK,. Wake, MH, eds.) Origin and Evolution of Larval Forms. San Diego, Academic Press.
  19. Webb, JF 1998. Laterophysic Connection: A unique link between the swim bladder and the lateral-line system in Chaetodon (Perciformes: Chaetodontidae). Copeia 1998(4): 1032-1036
  20. Wonsettler, A.L. and Webb, JF 1997. Morphology and development of the multiple lateral line canals on the trunk in two species of Hexagrammos (Scorpaeniformes: Hexagrammidae). J. Morphology. 233: 195-214.
  21. Webb, JF and Northcutt, R.G. 1997. Morphology and distribution of pit organs and canal neuromasts in non-teleost bony fishes. Brain, Behav. Evolution 50: 139-151
  22. Webb, JF and D.M. Noden. 1993. Ectodermal placodes: Contributions to the development of the vertebrate head. Amer. Zool. 33: 434-447
  23. Webb, JF 1990b. Ontogeny and phylogeny of the trunk lateral line system in cichlid fishes. Journal of Zoology (London) 221: 405-418
  24. Webb, JF 1990a. Comparative morphology and evolution of the lateral line system in the Labridae (Perciformes: Labroidei). Copeia 1990(1): 137-146
  25. Webb, JF 1989b. Neuromast morphology and lateral line trunk canal ontogeny in two species of cichlids: An SEM Study. J. Morphology. 202: 53-68
  26. Webb, J.F. 1989a. Gross morphology and evolution of the mechanoreceptive lateral line system in teleost fishes. Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 33:34-53
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