Dr. Gloria Arratia

Museum of Natural History
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045



From the beginning of my academic career I have been interested in the biological history of different fish groups and of their phylogenetic relationships. I have trained and involved myself in different aspects and methodologies such as physiology, embryology, comparative anatomy, genetics and others so that I am able to interpret the evolutionary transformations that different structures show along the evolution of species and higher taxa. I try to discover and understand the homologization of structures as the basis of phylogenetic interpretations. I am a sole author in many of my papers. Nevertheless, I enjoy working with colleagues at many levels, including students and postdocs. In most cases, I prefer that my students and postdocs publish alone as a way to estimulate their training. As a curator of fishes, I am fully aware of the importance of maintaining collections and supporting their use in comparative biology. My research is partially based on material coming from my own field expeditions and of museum collections. My research supports collection development, preparation of material, and sharing of collection information for academic purposes. My detailed morphological (micro and macro levels) studies of different groups of fossil and extant fishes (e.g., basal teleosts, Elopomorpha, Ostariophysi, and others) include ontogenetic development, terminal features and detection of variability of the groups. My main goals are to understand the evolutionary transformations of different morphological systems and the phylogenetic relationships of major lineages of Teleostei. I have worked hard to bring together fossil and neontological information in the search of the stem-group teleosts and to understand the basal teleosts. My studies on ostariophysans also include comparative studies of the ontogeny of structural complexes such as the suspensorium, sensory canals and neuromasts, caudal skeleton, and others. I have always been associated with educational institutions in my research and have been active in stimulating and developing interests in students to explore biological evolutionary processes. I have been very active in organizing the international Mesozoic Fishes group that get together every four years in different parts of the world. I have organized very successfully special symposia on fishes and on early vertebrates at the annual meetings of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. I have also been very active in organizing and maintaining international research alliances on systematics of fishes so that I have maintained an active program of international research fellows and also of professional training of young researchers from Argentina, Chile, China, India, Polland, Spain, etc. Some of these projects include fish research at the K/T boundary in India with Indian and German scientists, fish diversity with Tanzanian and German scientists, and Triassic pholidophorids and related forms with Italian and German scientists. I am deeply involved in editorial work. I am the editor of books such as the Mesozoic Fishes’ series, Recent Advances in the Origin and Early Radiation of Vertebrates, Catfishes, and others. Together with M. V. H. Wilson, I preparing the volume on Teleostei of the Handbook of Paleoichthyology.