Where life begins...

Dr. Peter Berendzen

Dr. Peter Berendzen
(319) 273-7026
McCollum Science Hall 66
  • Ph.D. 2005 Fisheries (Ichthyology), University of Minnesota.
  • M.A. 1998 Systematics and Ecology (Ichthyology), University of Kansas.
  • B.S. 1995 Genetics, University of Kansas.
  • B.A. 1995 Slavic Languages and Literature (Russian), University of Kansas.


My research interests focus on the evolutionary relationships, speciation, and biogeography of fish. Fish are fascinating because of their great morphological, physiological and behavioral variation and high diversity, with over 25,000 described species. The goals of my research address two main questions on the evolution of fish: 1) What are the historical processes that have shaped geographical distributions of fish? and 2) What are the patterns of variation of specific character traits within evolutionary lineages of fish? My research involves both active field collection of fish and laboratory work on the collection of molecular and morphological data. My primary focus is on North American freshwater fish although I also have interests in flatfish and East African freshwater fish.

  • Davis, D. J., A. C. Wieman, and P. B. Berendzen. (2014) The influence of historical and contemporary landscape variables on the spatial genetic structure of the rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) in tributaries of the upper Mississippi River. Conservation Genetics. Publish online 10 Sept. 2014
  • Wieman, A. C., P. B. Berendzen, K. R. Hampton, J. Jang, M. J. Hopkins, J. Jurgenson, J. C. McNamara, and C. L. Thurman. (2014) A panmictic fiddler crab from the coast of Brazil? Impact of divergent ocean currents and larval dispersal potential on genetic and morphological variation in Uca maracoani. Marine Biology 161: 173-185.
  • Berendzen, P. B., J. F. Dugan, and T. Gamble. (2010) Post-glacial expansion into the Paleozoic Plateau: Evidence of an Ozarkian refugium for the Ozark minnow Notropis nubilus (Teleostei: Cypriniformes). Journal of Fish Biology 77: 1114-1136.
  • Berendzen, P. B., W. M. Olson, and S. M. Barron. (2009) The utility of molecular hypotheses for uncovering morphological diversity in the Notropis rubellus species group (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Copeia 2009: 661-673.
  • Berendzen, P. B., T. Gamble, and A. M. Simons. (2008) Phylogeography of the bigeye chub, Hybopsis amblops (Teleostei: Cypriniformes): early Pleistocene diversification and post-glacial range expansion. Journal of Fish Biology 73: 2021-2039.
  • Gamble, T., P. B. Berendzen, B. Shaffer, D. E. Starkey, and A. M. Simons. (2008) Species limits and phylogeography of North American cricket frogs (Acris: Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48: 112-125.
  • Berendzen, P. B., A. M. Simons, R. M. Wood, T. E. Dowling, and C. L. Secor. (2008) Recovering cryptic diversity and ancient drainage patterns in eastern North America: historical biogeography of the Notropis rubellus species group (Teleostei: Cypriniformes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 721-737.
  • Golubtsov, A. S. and P. B. Berendzen. (2005) A review of the small barbs (Barbus, Cyprinidae) with a serrated dorsal spine from Ethiopia, with a discussion of the origin of forms with a reduced dorsal spine from the White Nile and Omo river tributaries. Journal of Ichthyology 45, Suppl. 1: S58-S88.
  • Simons, A. M., P. B. Berendzen, and R. L. Mayden. (2003) Molecular systematics of North American phoxinin genera (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae) inferred from mitochondrial 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA sequences. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 139: 63-80.
  • Berendzen, P. B., A. M. Simons, and R. M. Wood. (2003) Phylogeography of the northern hogsucker, Hypentelium nigricans (Teleostei: Cypriniformes): genetic evidence for the existence of the ancient Teays River. Journal of Biogeography 30: 1139-1152.
  • Berendzen, P. B. and W. W. Dimmick. (2002) Phylogenetic relationships of Pleuronectiformes based on molecular evidence. Copeia 2002: 642-652.
  • Dimmick, W. W., P. B. Berendzen, and A. S. Golubtsov. (2001) Genetic differentiation of three Barbus (Cyprinidae) morphotypes from the Genale River, Ethiopia. Copeia 2001: 1123-1129.
  • Golubtsov, A. S. and P. B. Berendzen. (1999) Morphological evidence for the occurrence of two electric catfish (Malapterurus) species in the White Nile and Omo-Turkana systems (East Africa). Journal of Fish Biology 55: 492-505.
  • Golubtsov, A. S., P. B. Berendzen, and C. A. Annett. (1999) Morphological variation and taxonomic status of Altai osmans, Oreoleuciscus, from the upper reaches of the Ob River system. Journal of Fish Biology 54: 878–899.
  • Tang, K. L., P. B. Berendzen, E. O. Wiley, J. F. Morrissey, R. Winterbottom, and G. D. Johnson. (1999) The phylogenetic relationships of the suborder Acanthuroidei (Teleostei: Perciformes) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 11: 415–425.