Genomics and Morphology of Holostei, a Lineage of Living Fossil Freshwater Fishes

Advisor: Thomas Near (YPM Curator of Vertebrate Zoology) 



Length: 8 weeks in summer 


Project Description: This project will collect and analyze genomic and possibly morphological data to investigate if there is a general mechanism that results in lineages with low species diversity with little morphological change over the course of hundreds of millions of years. The Near Lab has complete genomic DNA sequences for all seven species of gars (Lepisosteidae) and the Bowfin (Amia calva), which are ancient lineages of ray-finned fishes that share common ancestry (Holostei). If on campus, the intern will work to generate genomic data across multiple individuals of gars and Bowfin to explore the consequences of a low rate of genomic evolution on natural hybridization and collect morphological data to characterize new lineages discovered in molecular phylogenetic analyses. If the project is remote, the intern will be trained to analyze raw genomic data collected in the Near Lab.  


Outcomes: The intern will be encouraged to publish a peer-reviewed paper in a scientific journal. 

Connection to YPM collections and departmental/divisional goals: The intern will work closely with research collections in the YPM. 


Summary of potential costs (e.g. supplies, travel): Thomas Near will cover all research and travel costs. 


Stipend: $3000