UCF Biology

Michelle Gaither

Research Area(s): marine biology, ichthyology, genomics, population genetics, deep-sea, coral reefs, eDNA


The research in my lab is centered on the evolution, ecology, and origin of biodiversity in marine fishes. We are a highly collaborative lab that employs an interdisciplinary approach combining molecular tools (genome sequencing, RADSeq, and targeted capture) with field-based studies to address one of the oldest yet still hotly debated questions in biology: how do species form and specifically what are the roles of geographic isolation, ecological differentiation, and selection in the diversification of lineages? We have a number of ongoing projects involving deep-sea grenadiers, hawkfishes and surgeonfishes with a number of other projects in the works.

Additionally, our lab is investigating the utility of eDNA as a biogeographic tool to identify patterns of biodiversity, study species distributions, and evaluate anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems.


Biology Initiative Eases Transfer Experience

A pilot program in the biology department is championing new ways to create a smooth transition for transfer students coming to UCF. The centerpiece of the program is Transfer Advisory Peers, or TAPS, who pair up with incoming... Read more

The Importance of the Deep Blue Sea

World Oceans Day — held each June 8 — is an opportunity to promote campaigns and initiatives that bring ocean issues to the forefront. This year’s observance follows recent research that suggests the amount of plastic in t... Read more

Click here to read additional news stories