Edward D. Burress
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ph.D., Auburn University 2017, Biological Sciences
Research interests: macroevolution, adaptive radiation, key innovations, lineage diversification
I'm a Postdoctoral Associate in the Muñoz Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. I am broadly interested in evolutionary biology, especially topics such as adaptive radiation, morphological evolution, functional innovations, and lineage diversification. Currently, I am mostly interested in patterns and rates of trait evolution among cichlid fishes, particularly oral and pharyngeal jaw evolution. I am also curious about the influence of different sources of ecological opportunity, such as the colonization of a novel environment or evolution of an innovation, during the evolutionary history of fishes. For example, cichlids have colonized many ecosystems such as lakes and rivers that may have provided unique opportunities for those lineages. Similarly, all cichlids possess modified pharyngeal jaws that provide a strong biting mechanism, which provided access to previously inaccessible resources. How these events and traits altered cichlids trajectory across the adaptive landscape motivates much of my current research.
I am fascinated by ecological speciation and the early stages of adaptive radiation in which populations/species exhibit dramatic morphological and ecological divergence coupled with shallow genetic divergence. Understanding the evolutionary histories of such lineages is complex and therefore I have employed phylogenomic methods, namely UCEs and RADseq, to study these unique systems.
I am also interested in community- and population-scale ecology, particularly the feeding ecology of aquatic organisms, including fishes and invertebrates.
Photos of cleared and stained specimens by Alexus Roberts
Paintings by Rene P. Martin
Lampichthys.com | @Lampichthys