External Organisations

  • Aarhus University, Denmark

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Anguillid eels, including European (Anguilla anguilla) and American eel (A. rostrata) have fascinated scientists for centuries. At the same time, their geographical distribution and life cycle make them highly suitable study objects to address fundamental issues in evolutionary biology related to speciation and adaptation. In this project, we will make use of unique samples of eel larvae collected in the Sargasso Sea during the Galathea 3 expedition.

Novel genomic resources generated by 454 massively parallel sequencing and novel statistical methods for
(1) testing if the two species represent sympatric speciation,
(2) analysing the demographic history of the species, comparing present declines to historical population declines,
(3) testing whether or not European eel is panmictic, despite widespread geographical distribution of adult eels in continental Europe and North Africa and (4) testing whether the distribution of both species across subarctic to subtropical environments reflects extreme phenotypic plasticity or if footprints of temperature-related selection is evident at the genomic level.

The project is coordinated by Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University.


  • Research area: Population Genetics
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ID: 2290842