A tale of two fishes: how standing genetic diversity influences species responses to environmental change

How can species respond to environmental change?

If you’re a somewhat avid (or even cursory) reader of The G-CAT, you may remember my wrap-up post at the conclusion of my PhD in 2020 which described the various chapters of my thesis. Well, I’m pleased to announce that data chapter 2 of that thesis – on the comparative phylogeography of two threatened Australian freshwater fishes – has just been published in the journal BMC Ecology and Evolution. It’s a pretty complex paper which tackles genetic diversity, phylogenetics, demographic history, species distribution models and how these interact together to understand the evolutionary history of these species in a comparative framework. Feel free to check it out (it’s open access and free to read!) here.

The two study species in question – the southern pygmy perch (left; photo credit: Michael Hammer) and the Yarra pygmy perch (right; photo by me).

Ordinarily, I would do a more general summary blog post here to sum up the overall findings of the paper. However, I’m pleased to say that I was also invited to write up a “Behind the Paper” post on the Nature Portfolio Ecology and Evolution Community: much like here, it’s a relatively simplified summary of the whole paper and what it means for our understanding of the evolution and conservation of these species. So, instead of writing a second one, I’m just going to provide the link to it here.

Thanks for checking out the paper and the post, and hopefully I will have a few more of these coming out of the pipeline in the coming months!

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