Current Research
James L. Van Tassell

Current Projects include:

A review of the phylogeny of the American Seven-spined gobies along with Rafa Zardoya and Lukas Ruber at the Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid. The study includes morphology, ecology, and mtDNA of the group.

Systematics and biogeography of the gobiid fauna of Macaronesia.

Describing new species in the genera Chromogobius(published in Copeia 2001no.4), Akko, and a new genus from the Canary Islands.

Production of this web site.


Ph.D. Dissertation 1998

The tribe Gobiosomini contains 24 of the 29 New World genera.  The most speciose genus Gobiosoma has been divided into numerous subgenera by Ginsburg, Böhlke and Robins, and Hoese.  Ginsburg erected numerous subgenera as temporary holding areas until additional information became available to ascertain relationships.  Böhlke and Robins investigated the Atlantic species with comments on Pacific relatives, and Hoese studied the Pacific species.  This study presents a phylogenetic analysis of all species in the Atlantic and Pacific with comments on the tribe Gobiosomini and genera related to Gobiosoma.

Fourty-five characters were incorporated into the study, including characters used to separate the subgenera by the previous authors and new characters from cheek myology, sensory papillae, pelvic fin ray structure, and the arrangement of upper jaw teeth. Species previously placed in Gobiosoma can now be assigned to four genera with no subgenera.  The subgenera Austrogobius, Garmannia, and Gobiosoma are divided into the monophyletic genus Gobiosoma and a paraphyletic genus Gobiolepis.  The subgenera Tigrigobius and Elacatinus are elevated to genera and the monophyly of Elacatinus is established.

The restricted definition of the tribe Gobiosomini is supported with additional characters from sensory papillae patterns and cheek myology.  Genera included in the tribe are Aboma, Aruma, Barbulifer, Chriolepis, Elacatinus, Eleotrica, Enypnias, Evermannichthys, Ginsburgellus, Gobiolepis, Gobiosoma, Gobulus, Gymneleotris, Nes, Pariah, Psilotris, Pycnomma, Risor, Robinsichthys, Tigrigobius, and Varicus.

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