Main Research Projects
We currently focus on two main projects, both using livebearing
fishes as model systems.
Ecology and evolution of the Amazon molly: Why sex?
The evolution and maintenance of sex are still major question in biology. We are using a unique fish to address these problems. The Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) is an asexual fish that reproduces via gynogenesis. Amazon mollies do not have sexual recombination. They also have no males – it is an all-female species. Amazon molly females produce diploid eggs that develop into clonal copies of the mother. The development of the embryos needs to be triggered by sperm. The sperm are provided by males of several other species. We use this mating system to make direct comparisons between asexual and sexual animals living in the same habitat.
Biology of the Cave molly: Life and love in the dark
a movie of cave mollies in their natural habitat