Many of the research projects in the lab focus on the systematics of ray-finned fishes and how this relates to this clade's evolution. We resolve relationships using genomic, transcriptomic, and morphological data. Our lab has worked on projects ranging from the first explicit subordinal phylogeny of acanthomorphs and ray-finned fishes to familial and species-level studies within the Scorpaenoidei (scorpionfishes), Cottoidei (sculpins), Zoarcoidei (eelpouts), Myctophidae (lantern fishes), Leiognathidae (ponyfishes), Bedotiidae (rainbowfishes), and Cichlidae. We augment this phylogenetic work with fossil-calibrated divergence time estimates to explore fish diversification, biogeography, and macroevolution.

Please explore the laboratory Publications for more of our research.

Examples of popular press:

April 11, 2014 - Mark Prigg, The Daily Mall, "Finding Nemo 50 million years ago: Researchers say reefs and their fish were almost identical to today's far earlier than thought"
March 10, 2014 - Sedeer el-Showk, Nature, Accumulating Glitches, "The evolution of adipose fins"
March 5, 2014 - Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times, Science Now, "Overlooked fish fin stirs the waters of evolution"
August 8, 2012 - Natalia Real, Fishbio, Fisheries research, monitoring, and conservation, "Ray-finned fishes get new family tree"

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