Research Overview

Research in the Fish Evolution lab is broadly concerned with the evolutionary biology of fishes and is oriented around five major aims: (1) inferring phylogenetic relationships and testing evolutionary hypotheses in the context of such relationships, (2) uncovering macroevolutionary drivers of morphological and lineage diversification, (3) elucidating patterns and processes that explain spatial and temporal distributions of species and populations within species, (4) understanding the genetic bases of adaptive traits at macroevolutionary scales, and (5) documenting the diversity of fish faunas. This research approach is currently intensifying the implementation of genome-scale approaches for robust inferences of phylogeny and phylogeography. It also uses phylogenetic comparative methods and comparative genomics in combination with unified approaches that integrate neontological and paleontological evidence to address a broad array of questions in macroevolutionary research. Fieldwork is an important component of our research, and we have collectively conducted expeditions to survey freshwater and marine fishes in 12 countries across four continents.

Previous and ongoing projects have focused on unraveling the pattern and tempo of fish evolution using molecular and fossil-based data, addressing the classification of "all fishes", uncovering extrinsic and intrinsic factors driving diversification and morphological evolution following habitat transitions (e.g., marine-derived freshwater clades), understanding the sources of phylogenetic conflict in genome-wide data, identifying barriers of marine fish connectivity, assessing species boundaries, and describing new species.