Staff Profiles

Melanie Stiassny

Herbert R. and Evelyn Axelrod Research Curator, Department of Ichthyology, Division of Vertebrate Zoology
Principal Investigator, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)
  • Education

      • University of London, Ph.D., 1980
      • University of London, B.S., 1976
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      Melanie’s research focuses on the systematics and evolutionary morphology of tropical freshwater fish faunas, and applies classical descriptive anatomy, geometric morphometrics, CT and MRI scanning for hard and soft tissue visualization, and 3D reconstruction for spatial and volumetric analyses. Her taxonomic expertise spans the teleostean tree of life, and includes phylogenetic studies of diverse teleostean lineages. Ongoing projects are centered in central Africa and seek to document how diversity is partitioned, and to elucidate mechanisms underlying species diversification applying population genetic and phylogeographic components that integrate novel hydrographic and bathymetric data at varying geographic scales. Current work also seeks to aid NGO’s and governmental agencies develop regional conservation strategies. Key to this is the establishment of in-country expertise and she maintains an active collaboration with the universities of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Marien Ngouabi (Republic of Congo) to promote training of Congolese nationals.

      She serves as advisor to numerous international scientific and conservation organizations such as the IUCN, USAID, and the International Foundation for Science. She is a member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and the Advisory Board of National Geographic Society’s Conservation Trust.

  • Publications

  • Teaching Experience

    Teaching Experience