Much of our lab's research focuses on unraveling the complicated evolutionary history of mail-cheeked fishes. During the last twenty years, there has been a shift from a consensus that mail-cheeked fishes were a "real" group to a consensus that the traditional clade is polyphyletic. Our research has revealed that this group is composed of several distinct lineages that are interspersed with important groups such as the perches, groupers, and sea basses as well as enigmatic groups like the sandfishes and Antarctic icefishes. These evolutionary findings have wide-ranging ramifications for our understanding of the evolution of venom, live birth, and antifreeze proteins.

Please explore the laboratory Publications for more of our research.

Examples of popular press:

July 17, 2013 - Yale University, Phys.org, "From flounders to seahorses: Evolutionary success of spiny-rayed fishes detailed"
September 13, 2011 - Gabriel Spitzer, NPR, WBEZ, Clever Apes, "Biological weapons"

University of Kansas, Biodiversity Institute, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045; 785.864.6874 ©2016 W.L. Smith