Scott Schaefer's Research

Scott Schaefer's research is focused on the systematics, biogeography, and evolutionary morphology of the tropical freshwater fishes of Africa and South America. This research principally seeks to resolve problems in the taxonomy, classification, and nomenclature at multiple hierarchic levels in those fishes that dominate the ecology of tropical riverine systems, notably catfishes and characoids.


Recent fieldwork in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela has resulted in the addition to the Museum of several new and important collections of fishes, which have provided the raw material for several of his ongoing and future research projects. In particular, his recent high-elevation collections in the ecuadorian and peruvian Andes have provided substantial new collections of astroblepids  for his NSF-supported revision of the family.

Fieldwork in the Neotropics has been an on-going component of Scott's research on the systematics of freshwater fishes since 1989. Sine 1989, he has conducted ichthyological surveys of poorly known regions of Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. This work, done in collaboration with in-country colleagues, has resulted in reference collections deposited in museum in the United States and several Latin American countries, representing more than 32,000 specimens documents from more than 200 field sites. He has authored over 40 publications and has described several new genera and more than two dozen species. He is a PI and co-founder of the NEODAT project, and international, multi-institutional effort to build distributed informatices resources for neotropical ichthyology.

The linked pages provide a searchable database of all collecting localities from these expeditions. Field numbers (e.g., SAS91-12) are unique identifiers of collections made at a given place and time. Each expedition like will provide a distribution map of collection localities and links to a searchable database of locality data and a few images.