Stephan Koblmüller


Lake Tanganyika’s endemic (fish) species flocks: a model system in evolutionary biology research

Institute of Biology, University of Graz


With>1500 largely endemic species, the cichlid species flocks of the East African Great lakes are among the prime model systems in evolutionary biology research. Lake Tanganyika is the oldest of these lakes and harbors not only the behaviorally, ecologically and genetically most diverse of these species flocks but, unlike the other lakes, also smaller species flocks of other fish families. Decades of research on the lake’s cichlid fishes have resulted in a profound understanding of the factors and processes underlying their diversification. Yet, some aspects, especially on the intraspecific level, are still poorly understood. Compared to cichlids, very little is known about patterns of population differentiation and diversification in the lake’s non-cichlid fishes, even though these data are required to ultimately understand what makes cichlid so special. In this talk I will give a brief overview about what is known about patterns of diversification in cichlid and non-cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika and the underlying factors and processes.