Andy Turko

University of Guelph

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph, where I work with Dr. Patricia Wright to learn how and why fishes have left water and evolved amphibious natural histories. Moving between aquatic and terrestrial environments poses severe respiratory, osmoregulatory, and mechanical challenges for fishes. Amphibious species have evolved many strategies to handle these transitions, but almost all involve trade-offs – being “better” on land often makes a fish “worse” at living in water!  Some fishes solve this trade-off problem by reversibly remodelling cells and tissues (phenotypic flexibility), while others adopt intermediate phenotypes that hardly change. A central goal of my research is understanding how fishes solve these trade-off problems and why solutions vary so broadly across the phylogenetic diversity of amphibious fishes.

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