The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Are cichlid species complexes…



Quick facts

Project title: 
Are cichlid species complexes genomic networks?
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


Inter- and intraspecific gene flow is increasingly recognized as an important factor shaping diversification and speciation. We study the phylogeny, phylogeography and population genomics of four small cichlid species assemblages (Teleostei: Cichlidae; 3-10 species each) endemic to the rapids of the Lower Congo River. The parallel evolution of five morphological and/or ecological divergent lineages/genera within the contiguous unidirectional topography of the Lower Congo River allows testing speciation with gene flow and hybrid speciation hypotheses under parapatric and partially sympatric geographical settings. Building on previous phylogeographic and morphometric results, we will take advantage of Next Generation Sequencing, stable isotope analysis and geometrical morphometrics to assess genome-phenotype-environment associations along an approximately 16 km long stretch of the Lower Congo River at the rapids of Inga. This approach will give us the opportunity to compare the genomic architecture of all four cichlid groups and to assess the extent of homoploid hybrid origin of species. This study is conducted by Dr. Ulrich Schliewen, Zoologische Staatssammlung München, Dr. Julia Schwarzer, zmb, and Bernhard Misof, zmb.


Contact person

HEAD of Junior Research Group "Ricefish"
Laureate "Margarethe-Koenig-Preis" 2012
+49 228 9122-426
+49 228 9122-212
j.schwarzer [at]