Jason Moreira (’14)- Fifth Year Masters


As long as I can remember, I told my parents that I wanted to be a marine biologist.  They realized it wasn’t a phase when I was 14. I turned my room into a mini aquarium exhibit. It was filled with beautiful guppies, zebra fish, platys, mollies, Otocinclus, enormous plecos, and at one point I even had northern leopardfrog and bullfrog tadpoles; I was fascinated by their metamorphosis process.

My sophomore year at Clark, I became part of a stickleback food competition and compensatory growth project involving threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). That summer (2012) I started working in the Foster/Baker lab and never turned back.  Since starting in the lab, I have worked on a number of projects, including research involving behavior, endurance, and, my primary project, morphological characterization of stickleback Newfoundland, Canada.

In the following two summers, I travelled to Bonne Bay Marine Station in Newfoundland to collect stickleback. My MS thesis research contrasts morphological variation of stickleback the Cook Inlet region of Alaska with that in Newfoundland collections. I expect to complete my degree this spring (2016). For this purpose, I am measuring attributes that characterize body shape and armor expression. It has been said that the northeast stickleback populations have been static evolutionarily compared to other locations around the world. My goal is uncover the truth.

Outside the Laboratory:  

I have a passion for cooking. I rarely make the same thing twice. I love being outside whether it’s at the beach getting a tan or hiking on trails.  Also it’s hard to find me without at least one headphone in my ear. I enjoy listening to music from country to some techno/hip-hop. I also enjoy working with kids and teaching them about the amazing and fascinating animal world.


  • LEEP Pioneer Award, Clark University, 2013
  • Maurine Milburn Research Fellowship Award, Clark University, 2013

Send Jason an email at JMoreira@clarku.edu