Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Master of Arts (MA)


Life-history characteristics (e.g., age and growth) have been used extensively to understand the temporal population dynamics of fish species, but less so within a phylogenetic framework. This study investigates life-history characteristics within the suborder Gadoidei (order: Gadiformes) and to test the extent of phylogenetic signal for those characteristics. To accomplish this, a phylogeny of Gadoidei was first constructed based on both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Within this phylogenetic framework, life-history traits, including growth rate, age at maturity, and longevity, as well as ecological data, such as water depth and diet type, were mapped to the phylogeny using parsimony analysis to examine the extent of phylogenetic signal. A phylomorphospace was constructed to estimate an ancestral body plan for gadoid fishes, to examine possible convergences and divergences among the target groups, and whether the morphological features relate to the life-history aspect of the study. Lastly, life-history characteristics were mapped onto the phylomorphospace to compare body shape and life-history data within a comprehensive phylogenetic framework. The results of both the parsimony and morphometric analyses show support for the hypothesis that shared ancestry plays a role in the evolution of life-history traits.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Evolution Commons