1) Phylogenetic Systematics/Phylogeography
We are particularly interested in the diversity of New World fishes and have conducted studies in the Southeastern United States, Mexico, and Central America. We use phylogenetic trees to better understand evolutionary relationships, timing of diversificaton, and the identification of unique lineages. Some of these regions are understudied from a biodiversity perspective, whereas other areas are being negatively impacted by environmental degradation and are in need of study. Current projects include phylogenetic studies of silversides (Atherinopsidae), splitfins (Goodeidae), cichlids (Cichlidae), and darters (Percidae).
2) Population and Conservation Genetics
We use a variety of genetic techniques and approaches to address questions of gene flow, stock structure, genetic variability, species identity, and imperiled species monitoring (eDNA). Specifically, in recent years we have conducted studies addressing the impacts of dams on freshwater fish populations, conservation genetics jeopardized fishes, genetic stock structure of marine fishes and shrimp, and environmental DNA monitoring of imperiled species
3) Morphological Variation
Identifying and quantifying morphological variation is critical to understanding the range of morphological diversity and how much diversity exists. We study morphological variation using both traditional meristic approaches, as well as geometric morphometrics. At the present time, we are examining body shape variation within silversides (Atherinopsidae), as well as conducting alpha taxonomy studies of greenside darters (Etheostoma blennioides), silversides, goodeids, and cichlids.