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Why fish?
Melanie primarily studies cichlids.
Melanie primarily studies cichlids.
Melanie Said
I loved all animals and, more than anything, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Although I had a much-loved pet fish as a child, I could have ended up studying anything. It was pure serendipity that I ended up studying fish. When I graduated from college, I decided to do a Ph.D. I worked with a professor at the Museum of Natural History in London. My professor was a world authority on a family of tropical fish called cichlids.

I had lots of questions about life: Why are things the way they are? What are the forces that drive life? Studying any type of life would have helped me pursue these questions, but I discovered that I could try to answer them by studying fish and so I became an ichthyologist.