Research Interests

Molecular Ecology and Evolution of Fishes

Our laboratory research focuses on understanding speciation mechanisms in marine organisms. We have elected to specifically work on fishes as model systems. To approach this vast question, we mainly investigate two different fields of molecular evolution:

* Molecular phylogenetics: We are interested in understanding phylogenetic relationships between species complexes that correspond either to large groups (Scarids) of fishes, or to species that are in the process of speciation (i.e., Girella, Dascyllus).
* Population genetics: We are generally interested in studying the relationships between dispersal capabilities and gene flow in fish populations.

With a background in Molecular Biology and Genomics, I am also interested in the molecular mechanisms of adaptation to different environments.  The recent advent of fast and inexpensive genomic sequencing allows now for an opportunity to bridge the gap between molecular mechanisms and ecologically important questions.  We are therefore using our knowledge of systematics and population genetics to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular underpinnings of local adaptation.


Our main areas of investigation are the temperate and subtropical Eastern Pacific, the Sea of Cortez, southern Africa, and the Indo-West Pacific.  We are also studying the Lessepsian bioinvasion of the Mediterranean by Red Sea organisms via the Suez Canal.