Australian Society for Fish Biology, Darwin, Australia, July 1997.

Biogeography of Australian freshwater fishes.

P.J. Unmack

Due to the lack of primary freshwater fishes and an apparent lack of obvious morphological differentiation between species some authors have suggested the Australian fish fauna is quite young, in the order of a few million years, with significant speciation events occurring as recently as 10 000 years ago. With closer critical evaluation, this view is being replaced by one which suggests the fauna is older by a magnitude of 10's of millions of years, and that speciation events have likely occurred over longer time periods. My thesis is examining distribution patterns to find common biogeographical tracks between drainages. Once migration routes have been hypothesized these will be tested by an examination of geological literature which will provide an indication of the time scale involved in shaping today's fish fauna.