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Pierotti, Michele

Smithsonian Research fellow

My research integrates behavioral ecology, sensory physiology, evolutionary ecology and genomics to examine the role of environmental change in shaping communication systems and ultimately the evolutionary trajectory of populations. I am fascinated by rapid ecological adaptation and its genetic and epigenetic underpinnings, particularly in aquatic environments.
My work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute focuses on divergence in ecological traits between sister species of coral reef fishes separated by the rise of the Isthmus of Panama. In particular, I am examining how the visual system of sister fish species adapted to the drastically different underwater light conditions between the two coasts (Pacific and Caribbean) of Panama.


Selected Publications