Yale Peabody Museum Summer Internships

Phylogeography of Blue Ridge Endemic Freshwater Fishes

Advisor: Professor Tom Near (YPM Curator of Vertebrate Zoology)


Length: 8 weeks in the summer


Project Description:

The rivers draining the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia contain many fish species that are found nowhere else in the word. The Blue Ridge is a relict landscape that been continuously eroded into the Valley and Ridge Province via the downstream stretches of the Blue Ridge draining rivers. In collaboration with geomorphologists at MIT, we are using genomic information to time calibrate the diversification of Blue Ridge fishes and assess correlations with age estimates of paleogeographic events that isolated fish populations and lineages on the relict Blue Ridge landscape. This research will involve field work to sample specimens, curatorial work in the Yale Peabody fish collection, genotyping specimens for mtDNA genes and genome-scale ddRAD, and bioinformatics to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Blue Ridge endemic freshwater fishes.


Outcomes: Specimens for the YPM fish collection, a genomic ddRADseq dataset, and the basis for a peer-reviewed scientific publication.


Stipend: $3000