I have just begun my PhD this year and I am working on the phylogeny of a group of acanthomorphs called Serraniforms. This group has been discovered thanks to molecular tools in 2000. It is composed of various families which are very different morphologically like seabasses (serranids), perchs (percids) or « super-families » like sculpins and snailfishes (cottoïdes), eelpouts (zoarcoïds) or antarctic fishes (notothenioïds). Other families might belong to the Serraniforms which is why I have to gather specimens belonging to a lot of families. To reach this goal, I have to search in the collections of the National History Museum of Paris but also in the collections of other Museums and finally during the different cruises (especially in Antarctic) where members of my team are involved.
Then I will focus on resolving relationships within Serraniforms by using multiple genes and searching for new ones. This will permit for example, to identify the sister-group (ie the genetically closest group) of notothenioids. With this result, I could make some hypothesis on the evolution of some of their physiologic characters. In fact, notothenioids are special because they are composed of many groups possessing anti-freeze proteins. It is the case for the toothfish (belonging to the genus Dissostichus) or for the icefishes (family of channichthyidae). It is one of the reasons why the team is focusing on this group for many years.
member of the team from 2009 to 2012
To learn more about anti-freeze proteins there applications: