Evolution and conservation of fishes

Freshwater fishes represent a spectacular adaptive radiation; about 40% of all fishes (which constitute more than 50% of all vertebrates) are found in freshwater habitats which comprise only 0.8% of the Earth's surface area! My research focuses on understanding patterns of genetic variation within and between natural populations of fishes, the processes that promote and organize such variation, and their relevance to the origins and conservation of biodiversity. In particular, I am interested in population structure and the historical and contemporary processes that influence population structure, speciation and hybridization (both ecological and genetic mechanisms of divergence and persistance in the face of gene flow), and the implications of these processes to biodiversity conservation. We develop and apply techniques in molecular biology to address questions in the evolution and ecology of natural populations. Molecular genetic (utilizing mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers, mtDNA and intron sequencing and RFLP analyses), morphological, and ecological, studies are conducted in the general fields of population genetics, molecular ecology and systematics, and conservation genetics and biodiversity. I am also the Director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (BBM), the curator of the Fish Collection at the BBM and a member of Biodiversity Research Centre at UBC. I also teach undergraduate courses in Honour's Research (Biology 447) and Diversity and Evolution of Fishes (Biology 465).

BC Freshwater Fishes guidebook published! Taylor, E.B. and D.K. Tan. 2016. Guide to the freshwater fishes of British Columbia. A pictorial guide with notes on identification, biology and distribution.

Click HERE to check it out. If you wish a copy, please send a cheque for $10 payable to the "Beaty Biodiversity Museum" to E. Taylor, Dept. of Zoology, UBC 6270 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC, CANADA, V6T 1Z4, and a foldable, laminated copy will be mailed to you. You can also get information HERE and order it online HERE.

Download the UBC Fish Collection Fact Sheet HERE.

Fish Identification Course: Spring 2016. This year's course is going on the road to Selkirk College, Castlegar. Click HERE for info.

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum: A celebration of life's diversity (Video by Derek Tan)

Changes to Canada's Federal Fisheries Act

If you are interested in my ideas about why changes to the Fisheries Act are not good for Canada's freshwater biodiversity, click HERE

Address (EBT): Office/Lab: Room 310/270, Beaty Biodiversity Bldg, 2212 Main Mall, UBC Mailing address: Dept. of Zoology, UBC 6270 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC, CANADA, V6T 1Z4

Contact EBT: etaylor@zoology.ubc.ca


Graduate position openings

I currently have no specific openings for graduate student positions, but please inquire

Gibberichthys latifrons arranged in probable swimming position with elaborate pelvic fin extensions, 21 mm standard length

Fishes in the News (FINs)

An occasional miscellany of fishes and their interactions with humans through the ages as reflected in media reports.

Most recent (Oct 2016): Implications of Brexit vote on UK Fishing Industry. (The Telegraph, October 2016).

It's a salmon! Dildo Pond derby fish disqualified after DNA tests (CBC News, Feb. 2016).

Twenty new freshwater fish species discovered in Australia's remote Kimberley region (ABC News, January 2016).

Myth-busting the Amazon's most feared fish - the "candiru" (BBC Earth, January 2016).

Neon-mouthed pike leaves angler flumoxed. (CBC News, August 2015)

Near invincible Climbing Fish Threatens Australia. Discovery News , June 2015.

New Jersey Residents Advised Not To Eat Fish From The Sewer. gothamist , June 2015.

Manitoba Lake to have first certified sustainable freshwater fishery in North America. (The Toronto Star, July 2014)

Big court victory for tiny fish in the Bay Area (Reuters.com, March 2014).

Multiple dams on the lower Mekong River threaten the world's largest inland fishery (Yale environment 360, Feb. 2014)

US EPA report points out threats of Pebble Mine development to world's biggest salmon fishery. (Alaska Dispatch, Jan. 2014)

Vlad the Piscator! Vladimir Putin, camouflage gear and all, (with buddy Medvedev in tow) catches big pike on fishing trip, then shows what a compassionate guy he is by kissing it! (BigLeadSports.com, July 2013).


Whether we live by the seaside, or by the lakes and rivers, or by the prairie, it concerns us to attend to the nature of fishes, since they are not phenomena confined to certain localities, but forms and phases of the life in nature universally dispersed.

(H.D. Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1849)

© E.B.T.
© photo of bull trout: E.R. Keeley, Idaho State Univ.

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