CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
Our lab focuses on the systematics and evolution of bony fishes. This includes the discovery and formal description of new biodiversity, exploring the phylogenetic relationships between groups of fishes, and understanding how genotype, phenotype and ecology work in concert to produce the amazing diversity we observe in the aquatic world around us. New and emerging projects in our lab will look to take advantage of the UW Fish Collection's world-class archive of otoliths, eggs, and larvae of fishes of the North Pacific to address relevant questions in systematics, conservation, and fisheries management.
Below is a short list of current projects in our lab.
BIOGEOGRAPHY, TAXONOMY, PHYLOGENY AND LARVAL IDENTIFICATION OF NORTH PACIFIC GROUNDFISHES
New projects in our lab are in direct collaboration with NOAA fisheries biologist Dr. Alison Deary at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), are focused on the early life history stages of fishes from the Northeast Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, and Arctic Ocean. Dr. Deary is interested in pursuing applied taxonomic and ecological research to address important data gaps related to basic life history information that can be applied by fisheries scientists in ecosystem approaches to management. Currently, approximately 50% of larval fish species have been described but there are still many questions yet to be answered, including: 1) What species are found in the Arctic? 2) What characters can we use to identify larvae to species? 3) What are their distributions? 4) What ecological and oceanographic factors influence the distribution and abundance of larvae? 5) How might these distributions be influenced by climatic anomalies? 6) What do the larvae eat and why? To address these questions and understand the processes that influence recruitment in the marine ecosystems surrounding Alaska, Dr. Deary’s current research focuses on fisheries oceanography and a combination of taxonomy, systematics, biodiversity, morphology, and ecology of early stage fishes using over four decades of AFSC survey data. For details on specific project, email both Luke.Tornabene@gmail.com and Alison.Deary@noaa.gov.