With dense canopies, soaring mountains, and bubbling streams, Equatorial Guinea is composed of two regions rich in biodiversity: the mainland Río Muni on the west coast of Central Africa and the islands, Bioko and Annobón. In February 2023, an international team of scientists led by Mark Sabaj teamed up with local scientists and students to explore Bioko and the mainland for freshwater fishes. The trip yielded discoveries of fish species new and old in this small yet biodiverse country.

About the Speaker

Mark Sabaj outdoors wearing yellow Adidas shirt and Samuels Sons hat
Mark Sabaj.

Raised in Brookfield, Illinois, Mark Henry Sabaj has a BS (1990) and MS (1992) from the University of Richmond and a PhD (2002) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His career in ichthyology began as an undergraduate when William Woolcott and Eugene Maurakis invited him to assist their field studies of spawning behaviors in nest-building chubs and dace in the streams of western Virginia. In 1992 Mark became a doctoral student of Lawrence Page, and from 1995 to 2000 served as full-time collection manager of fishes at the Illinois Natural History Survey.

In 2001 he relocated to Philadelphia to become Collection Manager of Fishes at The Academy of Natural Sciences. Mark lives in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia with his daughter Sofia, his wife (and Brazilian ichthyologist) Cecile Gama, and her two daughters Gabriella and Paula. Over his career, Mark has co-described 41 new species, two genera, and five subfamilies in four Phyla (Mollusca, Arthropoda, Porifera and Chordata). He has taken part in 50 field expeditions on five continents.

About the Series

Science on Tap is a monthly speaker series that features brief, informal presentations by Philadelphia-based scientists and other experts followed by lively conversation and a Q&A. The goal is to promote enthusiasm for science in a fun, spirited, and accessible way, while also meeting new people. Come join the conversation!


Header image courtesy of Mark Sabaj.

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