St. Cloud State Today

Matthew Davis

Company: St. Cloud State University

Position: Professor, Biology

Areas of Expertise

  • Aquatics
  • Fishes
  • Oceans
  • Marine Biodiversity
  • Bioluminescence 
  • Biofluorescence
  • Evolution


Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas.


Matthew Davis received his B.S. in Biology from Regis University and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas. Before his current position as a Professor of Biology at St. Cloud State University, he spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University, The Field Museum, and University of Kansas. The primary focus of his research is to investigate the evolution of marine fishes that have flourished in the extreme aquatic habitat of the deep sea (e.g., lizardfishes, lanternfishes, dragonfishes). His work integrates genomic, morphological, and life-history information to study the patterns and processes of diversification. This includes reconstructing hypotheses of evolutionary relationships to explore adaptations and character evolution of deep-sea fishes (e.g., hermaphroditism, bioluminescence, tubular/enlarged eyes), mechanisms of genetic isolation in the deep sea, transitions among marine habitats, and shifts in speciation rates. He has taught various courses at St. Cloud State University, including Ichthyology, Ecology of Fish Populations, Conservation and Management of Animals, Scientific Illustration, Biological Evolution, Organismal Diversity, Principles of Phylogenetics, and Statistical Design.