2013-2014     Instructor, California State University Fullerton
2013-2014     Postdoctoral Scholar, Arizona State University
2011-2013     Instructor, Saddleback College

Ph.D. Biology , University of Washington/Friday Harbor Labs

B.S. Marine Biology, California State University Long Beach

Research Areas

My research uses an integrative approach combining engineering and physics techniques to study the biology of organisms and create bioinspired applications. My work on biomimetic manta ray filters has garnered national media attention and I plan on continuing the research and development portion of this patent pending design for use in waste water treatment. The bio-inspired manta filter is unique to other filters because it is a self-cleaning system (it does not clog) and is therefore useful to a broad scope of industries beyond wastewater treatment including but not limited to: beer and wine making, medical and drinking water treatment, and low flow system filtration. I believe this is an ideal topic for undergraduate researchers to perform meaningful, human health related research.


  1. Hinojosa-Alvarez, S., Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Diaz-Jaimes, P., and Galvan-Magana, F.  Submitted.  A third manta ray species: phylogenetic analysis of the Mexican Caribbean giant mantas. PeerJ
  2. Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Barrios, A., and Ferry, L.A. Accepted.  Presence of repeating hyperostotic bones in dorsal pterygiophores of the oarfish, Regalecus russellii. J. Anatomy.
  3. Ferry, L.A., Paig-Tran, E.M. and Gibb, A. 2015. Suction, ram, and biting: deviations and limitations to aquatic prey capture. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 55:1, 97-109.
  4. Paig-Tran, E.W.M. and Summers, A.P. 2013. Comparison of the structure and composition of the branchial filters of suspension feeding elasmobranchs. The Anatomical Record.  701-715.
  5. Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Kleinteich, T., and Summers, A.P. 2012. Functional morphology of the filter pads and filtration mechanisms in the Mobulidae (Manta Walbaum 1792 and Mobula Rafinesque 1810). J. Morph. 1026-1043. Cover.
  6. Paig-Tran, E.W.M., Bizzarro, J.J., Strother, J.A. and Summers, A.P. 2011. Bottles as models: predicting the effects of varying swimming speed and morphology on size selectivity and filtering efficiency in fishes. J. Exp. Biol. 214: 1643-1654. Cover.

Grants & Special Projects

Research Grants
Submitted      NSF IOS–16-505 Pre Proposal “Using a multidisciplinary approach to elucidate the fluid dynamics and functional morphology of filter-feeding in manta rays.” (PI)
Submitted      NSF MRI–15-504 “Acquisition of a Vapor Pressure Scanning
Electron Microscope and Materials Characterization System for Research in Biology, Geology, and Chemistry” (PI, $630,571)
Grants-in-Aid and Fellowships
2010               Smithsonian Research Travel Award
2010               University of Washington Sargent Fellowship
2010               University of Washington WRF-Hall Fellowship
2009               NSF Predoctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention
2008               Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research         
2008               AGEP Travel award
2005-2006     Research Initiative for Science Enrichment Fellow/Scholar, CSULB

Honors and Awards

2013               Best student paper honorable mention, AMS
2011               Best Student Poster (Carrier Award), AES
2006               Women and Philanthropy Award recipient, CSULB