The marine tropics: an important evolutionary engine

Tropical fish. Photo: Peter Cowman
September 7, 2016

A new Global Ecology and Biogeography paper co-authored by former YIBS Donnelley Fellow Dr. Peter Cowman explores the role of tropical coral reefs in the evolutionary speed of reef fish. Through the use of evolutionary trees calibrated with genetic fossil data, Dr. Cowman and his team found the four studied reef fish families presented a faster formation of new and diverse species, lower extinction rates, and higher geographic dispersal. This research advances the theory that most extratropical reef fish lineages have originated from tropical areas.

This research was supported by the Donnelley Postdoctoral Environmental Fellowships.

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