Investigating the influence of environmental boundaries on the population structure of Yellowmouth Barracuda, Sphyraena viridensis

  • NERC Project
  • International Research Project
  • 2016 to 2020

Understanding the drivers of speciation and genetic differentiation is a fundamental goal of evolutionary biologists. Environmental or biotic features that divide a species and lead to the genetic isolation of two populations are often clearly apparent in the terrestrial environment but often less so in the oceans. Oceanographic frontal systems have been demonstrated to be just such a barrier to geneflow in the marine environment. This project will investigate the population structure of a widespread marine predator (Sphyraena viridensis) over most of its known range and examine the impact of oceanographic fronts on discriminating populations. Utilizing next generation sequencing methodologies (ddRADseq) and Stable Isotope Analysis this project will shed light on the fundamental drivers for speciation in the marine environment. Such information will allow for improved use of conservation resources and fisheries management for a wide array of marine predatory species.

Funding Institution:

Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC).


Durham University; ce3c - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes; Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of the Azores, Portugal; Newcastle University; University of St. Andrews; Sapienza – Universitá di Roma; Instituto Español de Oceanografía - Centre Oceanogràfic de Balears.