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Adventures in Amazonian Fish Ecology and Evolution

  • Friday, April 27, 2018
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

Nathan K. Lujan, PhD Associate Editor, Journal of Fish Biology

With over 5,600 fish species, tropical Central and South American rivers are the most biodiverse in the world. Among Neotropical fishes are wonders such as the polka-dotted river stingray, the blood-feeding candiru, and armored catfishes that specialize on diets consisting mostly of wood. Driven by a passion to understand the origins of this diversity and the mechanisms that sustain it, I have conducted 19 expeditions to seven Amazonian countries - discovering and describing over two dozen species in the process. My research employs a wide range of analytical techniques, from isotope analyses that reveal cryptic dietary partitioning to analyses of genes and genomes that shed light on ancient and modern speciation processes. My research also seeks to understand the impacts of activities threatening both the fishes and peoples of the Amazon. I will touch on these topics and more as I summarize highlights from 15 years as an ichthyologist in the tropics.

April 2018
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