Course Coordinator: 
Vincent Laudet
Fish Biology and Evolution

Fish are an integral part of our societies and culture. In addition to their economic value, they have considerable cultural and symbolic value. However, because of their aquatic way of life, in an environment which is almost completely foreign to us, their zoological distance from us, from their cold blood and their bodies covered with scales, we often consider them as dumb creatures of little interest except their delicate flesh and sometimes their beautiful colors.

And yet! What diversity! What incredible abilities! What fantastic adaptations! Fish have conquered virtually all the aquatic environments of our planet, even the most extreme. They are capable of elaborate behaviors and of complex social interactions and they can express individual characters like shyness or boldness. Like birds, they communicate with elaborate sounds. We have too largely ignored these fascinating animals because we misunderstand them and their environment. This course will therefore consider in general terms the biology and evolution of fish from either marine or freshwater origin. It will allow the students to better understand how fish work, how they evolve, how they adapt to diverse environments and the challenges they face.

The students must be able to understand the value of integrated approach, that is using several scientific disciplines together to solve a biological question. - They should also understand the value of comparing the outcome of several biological models - They will learn about the diversity of fish and should never again underestimate the abilities of these animals - They will learn the constraints and bias that act on animals and shape their evolutionary trajectories - They should understand the importance of protecting fish
Course Content: 

Introduction: Did you say fish? (2 hr)
- What is a fish ?
- The main fish models

PART 1: The origin and evolution of fish (6 hr)
- Actinopterygian fish phylogeny
- More genes in fish
- Fish radiations

PART 2: How fish work (10 hr)
- Locomotion
- Feeding
- Energy and metabolism
- Basic physiology
- Pigmentation
- Behavior

PART 3: Sexy Fish (10 hr)
- Migrations for reproduction
- Sex determination
- Courtship
- Development
- Parental care
- Perversities

PART 4: Extreme fish (6 hr)
- Life in the cold
- Life in the heat
- Life in the deep
- Life outside water

PART 5: The future of fish (6 hr)
- Fisheries and Aquaculture
- Pollution
- Climate change

Course Type: 
50% will be a bibliographical project with a 5 page report and a 10 min presentation; 50% will be a classical exam (with document allowed) during which the students will have to analyse the figures of a paper.
Text Book: 
The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Evolution, and Ecology by Gene Helfman Bruce B. Collette Douglas E. Facey, Brian W. Bowen. Wiley-Blackwelll
Reference Book: 
Essential Fish Biology: Diversity, Structure, and Function (English Edition) by Derek Burton and Margaret Burton Oxford Univ Press
Marine Biology. Function, Biodiversity, Ecology Jeffrey S Levinton Oxford Univ. Press
The Physiology of Fishes. Fifth edition Edited by Suzanne Currie and David H. Evans CRC Press
Fishes of the World. Fifth edition Joseph S. Nelson Wiley
Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs. Edited by Camilo Mora Cambridge Univ. Press
Prior Knowledge: 

- The students must have taken the course "Coral Reef Biology and Ecology" from Tim Ravasi
- Preferably they will also have taken basic introductory course on ecology/evolution.