Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Matthew Girard

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History. I am an ichthyologist, or fish fanatic, who enjoys asking questions about the anatomy, evolution, and natural history of fishes. My research specifically focuses on the systematics of perch-like fishes and how both phenotypic and genotypic features can inform our understanding of this group’s evolutionary history. I am also an avid photographer and enjoy using different imaging techniques to showcase the morphological features and the fishes that I am working with. My photos have had the honor of being featured by Nature as one of the best science images of the year in 2018 and by National Geographic, among other outlets.

Department / Division

BS., Loyola University Chicago

PhD., University of Kansas

Research Interests

Phylogenetics, systematics , and macroevolutionary dynamics of fishes using both phenotypic and genotypic data.


Girard, Matthew G., Matthew P. Davis, W. Leo Smith. 2020. The phylogeny of carangiform fishes: morphological and genomic investigations of new fish clades. Copeia 108:265–298.

Smith, W. Leo, Chesney A. Buck, Gregory S. Ornay, Matthew P. Davis, Rene P. Martin, Sarah Z. Gibson, Matthew G. Girard. 2018. Improving vertebrate skeleton images: fluorescence and the non-permanent mounting of cleared-and-stained specimens. Copeia 106:427–435.

Strotz, Luke C., Marianna Simões, Matthew G. Girard, Laura Breitkreuz, Julien Kimmig, Bruce S. Lieberman. 2018. Getting somewhere with the red queen. Biology Letters 14:20170734.

Girard, Matthew G., W. Leo Smith. 2016. The phylogeny of marine sculpins of the genus Icelinus with comments on the evolution and biogeography of the Pseudoblenninae. Zootaxa 4171:549–561.

Smith, W. Leo, Jennifer H. Stern, Matthew G. Girard, Matthew P. Davis. 2016. Evolution of venomous cartilaginous and ray-finned fishes. Integrative and Comparative Biology 56:950–961.