Bill Ludt

Assistant Curator, Ichthyology

Dr. Bill Ludt joined the Natural History Museum as Assistant Curator of Ichthyology in 2019. Prior to that he was the first Collette Postdoctoral Fellow in Systematic Ichthyology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He holds a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, a M.S. from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.S. from the University of Arizona. Bill's research aims to understand how speciation and evolution occur within the largest group of vertebrates – fishes. To accomplish this, he uses a multifaceted approach, applying a variety of methods across recent and ancient time scales. Central to his research are museum specimens and the data associated with them, which he uses to obtain a diversity of information from entire genomes to digital CT scans. Specific projects that he is involved in include the evolutionary relationships of centrarchiform fishes, the origins of anti-tropical distributions, and understanding population connectivity of marine fishes. He also runs an Instagram account called 'Planet of Fishes' where he posts pictures of strange and interesting species he comes across in museum collections or in the wild.

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