The aim of this project is to undertake a thorough descriptive analysis of the central neuroanatomy of Cetopsidae species based on shape, relative position, and volume of the main subdivisions of the brain. This study will provide a broader context for understanding the main evolutionary transformations which shaped the cetopsid brain. Results from the comparative study will be coded as discrete characters, fit for inclusion in phylogenetic analysis. This project will fill large gaps in the anatomical knowledge of important components of the Siluriformes. Also, a molecular analysis based on nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences will be made for the same set of taxa. The study will be based on material deposited at ANSP and other institutions. The descriptive portion of the work will include illustrations of all relevant brain subdivisions, using modern techniques of anatomical illustration. The morphological and molecular characters will be added to a dataset being compiled on the basis of currently available morphological matrices, generating hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships based on total evidence. Results will contribute towards understanding the evolution of Cetopsidae and other neotropical catfishes.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: