Skip to Content

Biological Sciences Profiles

Profile Photo

Sam Price

Biological Sciences

Assistant Professor

Jordan Hall 107 (Lab)
Jordan Hall 108 (Smart Conference Room)
Long Hall 136 (Office)


Educational Background

Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Clemson University
B.A. (Oxon), Biological Sciences, Oxford University (UK)

Research Interests

My research aims to identify repeating themes and general principles governing the evolution of biodiversity. I am interested in how the uneven distribution of ecological, morphological and species diversity has evolved and how it may have been influenced by the biology of the organism and the environment in which it lives. I work at the macro-scale, investigating global patterns over long periods of time across large clades. To enable me to work at this scale I use data and methods from across evolutionary and organismal biology and paleobiology and apply data science techniques, tapping the reserves of scientific data in museum collections, published literature, as well as online databases. Central to my research is the generation and analysis of ecomorphological databases, consisting of linear measurements and geometric morphometric descriptions of shape taken from museum specimens, enabling me to integrate fossil and living diversity. I specialise in the implementation of modern phylogenetic comparative methods in a high performance-computing framework. I am currently leading two major projects, one on teleost fishes and the other on mammals, which together encompass over half of all vertebrate diversity.

Courses Taught

BIOL 3350 Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 4930 Senior Seminar "Evolutionary Medicine"
BIOL 8710 (Selected Topics) Modern Macroevolutionary Methods
BIOL 8000 Concepts in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology - Co-taught
BIOL 4940/4941 Creative Inquiry "FishShapes: exploring the evolution of body form diversity across fishes"

Selected Publications

In Press Hodge, J.R.*, Wainwright, P. C. & Price, S.A. Constraints on the ecomorphological convergence of zooplanktivorous butterflyfishes. Integrative Organismal Biology.

2020 Larouche, O.*, Adams, D., Alencar, Laura R. V. *, Camper, B.+, Hodge, J.R.*, Adams, D. S.#, Zapfe, Z.#, Friedman, S. T., Wainwright, P. C., and Price, S. A. Do key innovations unlock diversification? A case-study on the morphological and ecological impact of pharyngognathy in acanthomorph fishes. Current Zoology 66(5), pp.575-588.

2020 Friedman, S.T., Price, S.A., Corn, K.A., Larouche, O.*, Martinez, C.M. and Wainwright, P.C. Body shape diversification along the benthic-pelagic axis in marine fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. 287(1931), 20201053.

2020 Larouche, O.*, Benton, B.+, Corn, K.A., Friedman, S.T., Gross, D.+, Iwan, M.+, Kessler, B.+, Martinez, C.M., Rodriquez, S.+, Whelpley, H.+, Wainwright, P.C. & Price, S.A. Reef-associated fishes have more manoeuvrable body shapes at a macroevolutionary scale. Coral Reefs 39(5), pp.1427-1439

2020 Price, S. A., Larouche, O.*, Friedman, S.T., Corn, K.A. & Wainwright, P.C & Martinez, C.M. A CURE for a major challenge in phenomics: a practical guide to implementing a quantitative specimen-based undergraduate research experience. Integrative Organismal Biology 2(1), p.obaa004.

2019 Price, S. A., Friedman, S.T., Corn, K.A., Martinez, C.M., Larouche, O.* & Wainwright, P.C. Building a body shape morphospace of teleostean fishes. Integrative and Comparative Biology 59(3), 716-730.

2019 Friedman, S.T., Martinez, C.M., Price, S.A. & Wainwright, P.C. The influence of size on body shape diversification across Indo?Pacific shore fishes. Evolution, 73(9), 1873-1884.

2018 Hodge, J. R., Alim, C., Bertrand, N. G., Lee, W., Price, S. A., Tran, B., Wainwright, P.C. Ecology shapes the evolutionary trade-off between predator avoidance and defence in coral reef butterflyfishes. Ecology Letters 21(7), 1033-1042.

2017 Konow, N., Price, S. A., Abom, R., Bellwood, D. & Wainwright, P.C. Decoupled diversification dynamics of feeding morphology following a major functional innovation in marine butterflyfishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. 284 (1860)

+Clemson undergraduate students working in my lab #Clemson graduate students
working in my lab *Clemson postdoctoral researchers working in my lab