Established in 1894, The Field Museum's Division of Fishes now contains more than 1,750,000 specimens, 130,000 lots, 10,000 species, 4,500 tissue samples, 3,500 skeletons, 1,400 nominal types (6,550 specimens), and 450 families. Our collections have grown out of the cumulative effort of 12 past and current curators and countless professional staff, students, and associates. This emphasis on the collection and research of freshwater and marine fishes has made The Field Museum a leader in the evolutionary biology of fishes.

Seth E. Meek

  • (1897-1914) pioneered the study of Neotropical freshwater fishes.

Loren P. Woods

  • (1941-1978) amassed large and important collections of freshwater fishes from North America and marine fishes from the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Robert K. Johnson

  • (1972-1986) obtained significant collections of mesopelagic fishes and shorefishes from Belize and Honduras amounting to more than 100,000 specimens.

Donald J. Stewart

  • (1978-1985),

Barry Chernoff

  • (1987-2002), and later Assistant Collection Manager

Phil Willink

  • (2002-2010) rejuvenated our early Neotropical freshwater research and collection emphasis by conducting numerous expeditions to Ecuador, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela. Since his arrival,

Mark Westneat

  • (1991-2013) expanded our marine collections, focusing on Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes.

Leo Smith

  • (2007-2013) strengthened our midwater and deep-sea collections from both sides of the north Pacific Ocean.

Caleb McMahan

  • (2014-present) works on growth of our Neotropical collections.

Graduate and Undergraduate Students:

  • Justin Lemburg (Uni. Chicago)

  • Meg Malone (Uni. Chicago)

  • Aaron Olsen (Uni. Chicago)

  • Maianne Seneczko (Uni. Chicago)

  • Tim Sosa (Uni. Chicago)

  • Hannah Weller (Uni. Chicago)

Volunteers Extraordinaire:

  • Luke Ginger

  • Matt Girard

  • Jeff Hoswell

  • Terri Sinnott

  • Sera Sousley

Research Associates:

  • Michael Alfaro

  • Barry Chernoff

  • Brian Dyer

  • Melina Hale

  • Luisa Mercelino-Backman

  • Callum Ross

  • Leo Smith

  • Windsor Aguirre

  • Michael LaBarbera

  • Justin Grubich

  • Mark Westneat

  • Edward Wiley

Field Associates

  • Antonio Machado-Allison


  • Clara Richardson

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