Freshwater fishes topic of discussion at HudsonAlpha Research Seminar

HudsonAlpha welcomed Zachary Culumber, PhD, Assistant Professor at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), to the Institute for the weekly Research Seminar. HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, hosted the seminar.

Culumber discussed how freshwater fishes can be used as a window to major patterns of evolutionary diversification. 

“Ultimately what I’m interested in is how we get diversification of both phenotypes and species,” said Culumber. “To do that, we combine field and lab studies, as well as controlled experiments and molecular genetics in order to try to understand how organisms adapt and diversify.” 

Culumber has been studying livebearing fishes for more than 10 years, primarily in Mexico, but also in Costa Rica and the southeastern USA. Fishes are the most diverse vertebrate group, but half of all fishes live in freshwater which accounts for far less than one percent of all habitable water on Earth. His lab combines field and laboratory studies to understand the relative roles of natural and sexual selection in the origin and maintenance of freshwater fish diversity. Visit the Culumber Lab website to learn more about their work. 

The next Research Seminar will take place March 4, 2020. To learn more about upcoming seminars, visit,