Ronald M. Coleman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
California State University Sacramento (CSUS)

Contact Information:

E-mail: or
Office: 211C Humboldt Hall
(916) 278-5836
Laboratory: 119 Humboldt Hall
(916) 278-????
Mailing Address: Ronald M. Coleman
Department of Biological Sciences
California State University
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6077

Departmental Information

FAX: (916) 278-6993
Telephone: (916) 278-6535

My Websites:

Cichlid Research Home Page <>

Not Active Yet: My faculty webpage <>

Courses I teach:

Fall 2001

Bio 173: Principles of Fishery Biology

This course will examine the biology underlying fisheries. We will be utilizing a brand new text which attempts to bring the ancient world of fisheries in line with modern ideas about evolutionary biology, conservation biology and wildlife management.

Text: Jennings, S., Kaiser, M.J., Reynolds, J.D. (2001) Marine Fisheries Ecology. Blackwell, Oxford. Required

Bio 294F: Graduate Seminar. Topic: Parental Care

We will be working our way through the book "The Evolution of Parental Care" by T.H. Clutton-Brock. The main focus of the course will be evolution, ecology and life-history but there will also be ample room for discussion of physiology as it pertains to parental care. The book is not limited to any one taxa and in fact attempts to cover all taxa, so people with diverse interests should find the topics relevant to their own area of interest. The book is divided into fourteen chapters, making it ideal for a seminar-type class.

Text: Clutton-Brock, T.H. (1991) The Evolution of Parental Care. Princeton University Press, New Jersey. 352 pp. Required

Bio 11: Animal Biology Laboratory

Spring 2002

Bio 162: Ichthyology

Bio 11: Animal Biology

Office Hours:


Research Interests:

Evolutionary Ecology, typically of fishes

I am interested in both experimental and theoretical evolutionary ecology. My main interest is in aspects of fish reproduction and parental care, though I am interested in all areas of evolutionary ecology. I am also interested in practical application of evolutionary ecology to such issues as fisheries management and aquarium fish husbandry.

Pedagogical Interests:

Teaching of Evolution:

I am interested in how evolutionary concepts are taught in schools. I believe a clear understanding of evolution is essential for understanding biology at any level. I feel that too often evolution is taught as an adjunct topic rather than as the fundamental building block it is.


B.Sc., University of British Columbia, 1983
M.Sc., Simon Fraser University, 1986
Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1993
PostDoctoral Fellow., University of California, Berkeley, 1992-1998


I currently have 19 publications in referreed journals along with over 50 articles in the popular press, mostly on cichlid fishes.

Here are three recent papers:

Galvani, A.P., R.M. Coleman and N.M. Ferguson (2001) Antigenic diversity and the selective value of sex in parasites. Annales Zoologici Fennici 38:305-314.

Coleman R.M. (1999) Parental Care in Intertidal Fishes. Pp. 165-180 in Intertidal Fishes: Life in Two Worlds (Eds. Horn, M.H., Martin, K.L.M. and M.A. Chotkowski), Academic Press, New York.

Galvani A.P. and R.M. Coleman (1998). Do parental convict cichlids of different sizes value the same brood size equally? Animal Behaviour 56:541-546.

Links of Interest:

Cichlid Research Home Page (my main website)

CSUS Department of Biological Sciences

CSUS Home Page

Field Biology Group at CSUS

Moss Landing Marine Lab

SCATS (Schools and Colleges for Advancing the Teaching of Science) (


Updated: July 31, 2001

Detailed Research Interests


Current Areas of Interest

Parental care in cichlid fishes

e.g. why do parents provide the amount of care that they do? What influences these parental investment decisions?

Egg size in cichlid fishes

e.g. why is egg size so different across this immense family of fishes?

Parental care and reproductive biology of intertidal fishes

e.g. what is the reproductive biology of the monkeyface eel?

e.g. why are some members of the Stichaeidae provide male parental care while others provide female parental care?

The evolution of sex (theoretical modelling of sexual and asexual parasites)

e.g. why are some organisms sexual and others asexual?

Aquarium fish husbandry from an evolutionary ecological perspective

e.g. does structure in an aquarium reduce aggression?


Future Areas of Interest (all the above plus these)

Reproductive biology of catfishes

Sexual selection in killifishes

Parental care in sticklebacks

Reproductive biology of the Sacramento perch in relation to other sunfishes