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Walter Rainboth Ph.D.

rainbothwalter.jpegAssociate Professor



  • Ph.D., 1981, The University of Michigan, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • M.S., 1973, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Department of Genetics and Development
  • B.S., 1971, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Department of Zoology


Courses I teach:

  • Biol. 104 Ecosphere in Crisis
  • Biol. 330 Ichthyology
  • Biol. 373 Biology Spring Field Trip



Systematics and taxonomy Asian cyprinid fishes, ecology of tropical freshwater fish communities of Southeast Asia.


Personal History:

As a graduate student, I began studying Asian fishes in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos as a member of The University of Michigan Mekong Basinwide Fishery Studies during 1974-76 under the direction of Professor Karl F. Lagler. A few years later, as a member of the Irrigation Fishery Development Project, I studied the Gangetic fish fauna in Bangladesh. I returned to the USA, completed my dissertation entitled Systematics of the Asiatic barbins (Pisces, Cyprinidae), and moved to Los Angeles where I spent several years in postdoctoral study at UCLA. In 1983, I traveled to Gambia in west Africa to prepare an illustrated key to the fishes of the Gambia River and Estuary, laying the scientific groundwork for a large biotic survey undertaken by the Great Lakes Research Laboratory of the University of Michigan. Since coming to Oshkosh I have received a grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to prepare a field guide to fishes of the Mekong in Cambodia. This was followed by four grants from the Mekong River Commission to continue that research on a broader scale throughout the countries of the Lower Mekong Basin. I spent two winters surveying the Cambodian fauna and wrote an illustrated key which is being used by fishery scientists and other biologists there. Current studies involve specimens collected in Laos and Vietnam during the three subsequent years. Many of these specimens represent species that are new to science. I am always eager to have interested students participate in identification of new species in my lab.


Selected publications:

  • Rainboth, W. J. 1991. Cyprinid fishes of Southeast Asia. In Winfield, I. J. and Nelson, J. S. (editors) Cyprinid Fishes: Systematics, biology and exploitation. pp. 156-210. Chapman and Hall, London.
  • Mayden, R. L., W. J. Rainboth, and D. G. Buth. 1991. Phylogenetic systematics of the cyprinid genera Mylopharodon and Ptychocheilus: comparative morphometry. Copeia 1991(3):818-883.
  • Rainboth, W. J. 1991. Aaptosyax grypus, a new genus and species of large piscivorous cyprinid fishes from the middle Mekong River. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 38(3):11-17.
  • Caron, S. and W. J. Rainboth. 1992. Field analysis of color cues that elicit territorial behavior in the Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus (Pomacentridae). Copeia 1992(4):1080-1084.
  • Rainboth, W. J. 1996. The taxonomy, systematics and zoogeography of Hypsibarbus, a new genus of large barbs (Pisces, Cyprinidae) from the rivers of southeastern Asia. University of California Publications in Zoology 129:xiii+199.
  • Rainboth, W. J. 1996. Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy, 265 pages, 27 color plates.
  • Rainboth, W. J. 1998. The fish communities and fisheries of the Sundarbans, with a framework for future studies. In: The Commons in South Asia: Societal Pressures and Environmental Integrity in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh. Proceedings of the 1987 Smithsonian Workshop on the Commons in Asia, using the Sundarbans as a case study. Published on the Internet at
  • Buth, D. G. and W. J. Rainboth, 1999. Gene expression in the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizi; tissue sources and buffer optima for the gene products of 73 loci. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 27:185-200.
  • Ng, H. H. and W. J. Rainboth, 1999. The bagrid catfish genus Hemibagrus (Teleostei: Siluriformes) in central Indochina, with a new species from the Mekong River.  (scheduled for November, 1999).
by linnm37 — last modified Jul 03, 2012 02:28 PM