Portrait of Luke Tornabene

Luke Tornabene

Assistant Professor and Curator of Fishes

Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Luke Tornabene is an ichthyologist studying the evolutionary relationships and biodiversity of fishes. His research focuses on identifying the factors that drive phenotypic, ecological and taxonomic diversification in fishes. Many of his current research projects involve the “Twilight Zone” — a diverse yet poorly studied region of the ocean that lies below the depths reachable by SCUBA divers and above the depths typically studied by deep-sea biologists. A large body of his work utilizes gobies, the most taxonomically and ecologically diverse family of marine fishes in the world, as a model to study patterns of speciation and adaptation in the marine environment. His systematic research uses a multi-disciplinary approach that relies on morphological data from specimens from natural history collections, molecular phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses, and ecological data. He is currently the Curator of Fishes at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, one of the largest collections of its kind in the world.