• Evolutionary Genetics and Systematics
  • Physiological Adaptations and Functional Genomics

We study the evolution of fishes with an emphasis on taxonomy (describing new species), phylogenetics (how are the species related), and how their morphology interacts with their ecology.

I study the taxonomy and systematics of freshwater fishes, particularly the Loricariidae (suckermouth armored catfishes) and Cyprinoids (minnows and barbs) with some work on Trichomycteridae (pencil catfishes), Crenuchidae (South American Darters), Amblyopsidae (North American Cavefishes), Catostomidae (Suckers), and a few other groups.

We primarily study freshwater fishes, but students have completed projects on marine fishes as well.

Research: systematics, evolutionary ecology, and morphology of loricariid catfishes, cavefishes and cyprinids.

Research Areas:

  • All Catfish Species Inventory
  • All Cypriniformes Species Inventory
  • Cavefish Taxonomy
  • Aquatic Species Response to Drought

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • The systematics of minnows and their relatives (Cypriniformes) using phylogenomics
  • The evolution of miniaturization in minnows
  • The systematics of the South American catfish subfamilies Hypostominae and Ancistrinae (Loricariidae), and their evolutionary ecology
  • Formation of the modern Guyana ichthyofauna
  • Phylogenetics of the North American cavefishes (Amblyopsidae), and revision of the Southern Cavefish (Typhlichthys subterraneus)

Areas: Ichthyology, Systematics, Morphology, Ecology

I am particularly interested in reconstructing the evolution of the genera of the South American suckermouth armored catfishes or plecos (Loricariidae) using morphological characteristics. I also explore in detail various types of morphological systems such as those related to wood-eating in some loricariid catfishes and accessory respiratory structures.

In addition, I am active in exploring the biodiversity of the planet, particularly that of South America.

Biological Science
PhD, University of Illinois, Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution, 1997
BS, University of Illinois, Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution, 1991
biological sciences