What generates biodiversity in marine fish?

I am an evolutionary geneticist that investigates the drivers of biodiversity in marine fishes, which includes studies in population genetic diversity, community diversity, and species diversity analysis across the fish Tree of Life. Our group analyzes a wide range of marine fishes, but we specialize on coral-reef and deep-sea fishes.

Scientific diving is an important tool to complete this research. Our team often travels to field sites and collects coral-reef fish while underwater to ensure accurate sampling. These fish are then transported back to the laboratory for further analysis. Our field sites are mostly focused in the Caribbean region, but we have recently expanded to examine fishes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are involved in our research activities. Certification as an AAUS scientific diver is important for those students interested in participating in scuba-based field work. Furthermore, those who are in pursuing a graduate degree in Marine Biology while focusing on fish genetics and scientific diving are encouraged to contact me early in your senior undergraduate year if you wish to be involved in this research to discuss available opportunities.

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Research Products

Dornburg, A., Moore, J., Beaulieu, J.M., Eytan, R.I., Near, T. J., 2015, The impact of shifts in marine biodiversity hotspots on patterns of range evolution: evidence from the Holocentridae (squirrelfishes and soldierfishes). Evolution 69, 146-161.

Near, T. J., Dornburg, A., Eytan, R.I., Keck, B.P., Smith, W.L., Kuhn, K.L., Moore, J.A., Price, S.A., Burbrink, F.T., Friedman, M., Wainwright, P.C., 2013, Phylogeny and tempo of diversification in the superradiation of spiny-rayed fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, 12738-12743.

Eytan, R.I., Hellberg, M.E., 2010, Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data reveal and conceal different demographic histories and population genetic processes in Caribbean reef fishes. Evolution 64, 3380-3397.

For more information, contact:

Ron I. Eytan

Ron Eytan, PhD

Assistant Professor

+1 (409) 740-4527
+1 (409) 740-5001 Fax

Bld#3029, Office 254