Research

My research focuses on elucidating intraspecific and interspecific relationships in fishes using molecular techniques. This research has two main themes: 1) population genomic analyses that assess connectivity, diversity, and relatedness within species and 2) inferring evolutionary relationships via phylogenetic hypotheses, which subsequently allows for specific testing of phylogeographic hypotheses and other processes related to diversification. In order to address these questions my research has recently utilized high throughput sequencing techniques to generate genomic datasets tailored to specific questions. These approaches have also necessitated the development of bioinformatic pipelines for handling large genomic datasets. The major themes of my research have allowed for better understanding into the ecological and evolutionary processes that has led to the diversification in the most speciose group of vertebrates, fishes. As our world continues to change with anthropogenic factors such as climate change, increased fishing pressures, and habitat degradation, fishes will be subjected to novel environmental pressures. Better understanding which populations disproportionately contribution to the next generation or what kind of genetic diversity is best suited for predicted environments will be crucial to maintaining fish stocks and biodiversity into the future.

 

embiotocid_RADseq_phylogeny

Phylogeny of Embiotocidae inferred using genome wide RADseq markers with maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. Species consensus sequences were used for phylogenetic inference here. Node values represent posterior probability and bootstrap support (top and bottom, respectively). Taxa are colored coded based on habitat preference (figure from Longo and Bernardi 2015 MPE paper).

 

 

 

 

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