Munroe, Thomas Systematic Zoologist

Positions

Systematics, evolution, taxonomy, biogeography, and biology of marine fishes, especially Pleuronectiformes.

Geographic Focus

  • Global  Transnational Region

Professional Biography

  • For over 35 years, I have been interested in the taxonomy, systematics and ecology of flatfishes (Order Pleuronectiformes), with emphasis on species of the family Cynoglossidae, the tonguefishes or tongue soles. Published work comprises primarily morphological studies on the alpha-level taxonomy of cynoglossids and soleids, but also includes descriptions or redescriptions of other flatfish taxa. More recent work, in collaboration with researchers employing molecular approaches, has also included studies using these approaches to gain better understanding of the diversity of flatfishes. My research also includes global summaries and assessments of flatfish diversity, distribution, and identification of regions or taxa where taxonomic work is still needed to improve understanding of the diversity of these fishes. Research interests have included, and continues to include, collaborations with researchers from around the world. Through these efforts I have gained better working knowledge and understanding of the global flatfish fauna. These experiences, in turn, have resulted in production of book chapters summarizing information on global diversity and distribution of flatfishes, and has led to contributing my expertise on flatfish taxonomy in writing chapters for several books, to the preparation of flatfish sections for regional FAO fishery identification guides, and to participation as a flatfish expert in IUCN workshops evaluating conservation status of flatfishes and other marine fishes for several Red List projects from around the world. Current research projects include systematic studies on flatfishes of New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, China, and other Indo-West Pacific locations. In 2015, I completed three chapters for the second edition of Flatfishes: Biology and Exploitation, in 2016 I authored five chapters for the book The Fishes of New Zealand. In 2018, I collaborated with other scientists interested in the classification of fishes of the family Pleuronectidae using molecular data, and others studying the taxonomy and systematics of species of the Paralichthyid genus, Paralichthys using a morphological approach. I have completed several other book chapters dealing with flatfishes that are currently in press. I am also collaborating with on-going ecological assessments of the flatfish assemblage residing in Chesapeake Bay with colleagues from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.