Image: Dr Georgina Cooke
Georgina Cooke at Kouri Island, Okinawa, Japan, 26 June 2012.
- Courtney Morgans
- © Georgina Cooke
Gina wrote, "Primarily, I am interested in how DNA can be used to address fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. In 2011 I completed my PhD (Macquarie University, Sydney) studying the origin of Amazonian fish diversity. Using a range of molecular markers and analytical approaches, I studied the spatial distributions of neutral and adaptive genetic diversity within the context of geomorphogical history, tributary arrangement and hydrochemistry for five co-distributed species of Amazonian freshwater fishes.
I am now the Chadwick biodiversity Fellow here at the Australian Museum and I have just begun studying the evolution of a ‘fish out of water’ – or the colonization of land by fishes. In collaboration with Terry Ord from UNSW, I am integrating phylogenetics, genomics, and field experiments to study the evolution of land dwelling fishes. To do this I am looking at a group of fishes within the comb-toothed blennies (Blenniidae) for which there are a number of species that actively avoid being submerged and are terrestrial in all aspects of their adult life. These living land-dwelling, amphibious and aquatic fishes provide a unique opportunity to study the evolutionary spectrum of terrestriality, serving as powerful analogues to how fishes may have left the water during the Devonian."
Visit Gina's research website.