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Author: Matthew Cambell 柯馬修

Matthew Cambell 柯馬修

Why Taiwan? Investigating the Biogeography of Flatfishes from Their Evolutionary Hotspot

     A key part of any Fulbright Taiwan application is “Why Taiwan?” Why does an applicant want to come to Taiwan and why is it necessary to come to Taiwan for the proposed work? For many participants in the Fulbright program, there are clear connections as part of historical, political and cultural study. As a biological scientist with a background of studying evolution in temperate to Arctic fishes, how did my research bring me to Taiwan?      Flatfishes, the subject of my Fulbright fellowship, are a striking group of fishes with a distinct body plan. In the more than 850 species of flatfishes, both eyes are found on the same side of the head (Figure 1). These are iconic fishes of the Northern Hemisphere. Halibut and flounder are well known to the general public. Commercial and personal fishing efforts target these fishes in the cool waters of North America, Europe and Asia. However, most flatfishes are actually quite small and they may be found circumglobally in marine waters (Figure 2). Not restricted to near-shore marine habitats, flatfishes may be found from the deep sea to freshwaters from the tropics to the poles. Scientific study, though, has focused on

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