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Faculty and Research

Faculty Member

Dahiana Arcila

Dahiana Arcila

Assistant Professor of Biology and Assistant Curator of Ichthyology Sam Noble Museum 302D 202-417-1669 Ph.D., Biology - The George Washington University, 2017


I am an ichthyologist by training, and I further specialized in understanding macroevolutionary dynamics using a combination of applied methods in comparative genomics. Research in our lab is broadly concerned with the evolutionary biology of fishes and is oriented around understanding the genetic basis of adaptive traits, testing evolutionary hypotheses, uncovering drivers of morphological and lineage diversification, and documenting the diversity of fish faunas. Our research approach is currently intensifying the implementation of genome-scale approaches for robust inferences of phylogeny and phylogeography. We also use phylogenetic comparative methods and comparative genomics in combination with unified approaches that integrate neontological and paleontological evidence to address a broad array of questions in macroevolutionary research.

Selected Publications:

Arcila, D., Hughes, L. C., Melendez, F., Baldwin, C. C., White, W., Carpenter, K., Williams, J. T., Santos, D. M., Pogonoski, J., Miya, M., Ortí, G. and Betancur-R., R. (2021) Testing the utility of alternative metrics of branch support to resolve the ancient evolutionary radiation of tunas, stromateoids, and allies (Teleostei: Pelagiaria). Systematic Biology: syab018.

Hughes, L. C., Ortí, G., Saad, H., Li, C., White, W. T., Baldwin, C., Arcila, D. and Betancur-R, R. (2020) Exon probe sets and bioinformatics pipelines for all levels of fish phylogenomics. Molecular Ecology Resources 21: 816-833.

Bemis, K. E. Tyler, J. C. and Arcila, D. (2019) Life history, distribution, and molecular phylogenetics of the Upward-Mouth Spikefishes, Atrophacanthus japonicus (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes: Triacanthodidae). Journal of Fish Biology 94: 578-584.

Hughes, L. C., Ortí, G., Huang, Y., Sun, Y., Baldwin, C. C., Thompson, A. W., Arcila, D., Betancur-R, R., Li, C., Becker, L. et al. (2018) Comprehensive phylogeny of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) based on transcriptomic and genomic data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 6249-6254.

Arcila, D. and Tyler, J. (2017) Mass extinction in tetraodontiform fishes linked to the Palaeocene–Eocene thermal maximum. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284 (1866): 20171771.

Arcila, D., Ortí, G., Vari, R., Armbruster, J. W., Stiassny, M., Ko, K. D., Sabaj, M. H., Lundberg, J., Revell, L. J., and Betancur-R, R. (2017) Genome-wide interrogation advances resolution of recalcitrant groups in the Tree of Life. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 0020.

Arcila, D., Pyron, A., Tyler, J., Ortí, G., and Betancur-R, R. (2015) An evaluation of fossil tip-dating versus node-age calibrations in tetraodontiform fishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 82: 131-145.