Fish Systematics & Biodiversity Lab

University of Washington- School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences  & The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

The Fish Systematics & Biodiversity lab at the University of Washington studies the evolution of fishes, the world’s most diverse group of vertebrates.  This includes the discovery and formal description of new biodiversity, exploring the phylogenetic relationships between groups of fishes, and understanding how genotype, phenotype and ecology work in concert to produce the amazing diversity we observe in the aquatic world around us.  

In partnership with the Smithsonian Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) and Substation Curacao, the Fish Systematics & Biodiversity lab seeks to understand how fish communities living on Caribbean deep reefs (50-300 m) have evolved over time.  How are species that make up deep-reef assemblages related to shallow-reef species?  How many deep-reef species have yet to be discovered?  What are the morphological and genomic adaptations of deep-reef fishes to the cooler, darker environments between 50-300 m?  How might deep-reef fishes respond in face of increasing ocean temperatures?  These are just a few of the questions the Fish Systematics & Biodiversity Lab is poised to address through our collaboration with DROP and Substation Curacao.