Andy Turko

I am interested in the morphological and physiological strategies used by amphibious fishes to survive in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Moving between these environments poses severe respiratory, osmoregulatory, and mechanical challenges for fishes – how do they do it? My current research is focused on understanding how fish out of water support their bodies, which are effectively weightless in water. Evidence to date suggests that the musculoskeletal systems of amphibious fishes are phenotypically flexible, similar to those of astronauts moving between earth and outer space. Other areas of particular interest include understanding the mechanisms used by amphibious fishes to maintain oxygen delivery in air and water, and trying to discover what phenotypic traits are most important for increasing the emersion tolerance of fishes.

Email me: aturko [at]

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Blewett, T.A., Simon, R.A., Turko, A.J. and Wright, P.A. (2017). Copper alters hypoxia sensitivity and the behavioural emersion response in the amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus. Aquatic Toxicology 189: 25-30.

Brunt, E.M., Turko, A.J., Scott, G.R. and Wright, P.A. (2016). Amphibious fish jump better on land after acclimation to a terrestrial environment. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 3204-3207.

Wright, P.A. and Turko, A.J. (2016). Amphibious fishes: evolution and phenotypic plasticity. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 2245-2259.

Regan, M.D., Turko, A.J., Heras, J., Andersen, M.K., Lefevre, S., Wang, T., Bayley, M., Brauner, C.J., Huong, D.T.T., Phuong, N.T. and Nilsson, G.E. (2016). Ambient CO2, fish behaviour and altered GABAergic neurotransmission: exploring the mechanism of CO2-induced behaviour by taking a hypercapnia dweller down to low CO2 levels. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 109-118. Featured in Inside JEB

Gibson, D.J., Sylvester, E.V.A., Turko, A.J., Tattersall, G.J. and Wright, P.A. (2015). Out of the frying pan into the air – emersion behaviour and evaporative heat loss in an amphibious mangrove fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus). Biology Letters doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0689 Featured in National Geographic News, ScienceNOW, IFL Science, Science Daily

Wells, M.W., Turko, A.J., and Wright, P.A. (2015). Fish embryos on land: Terrestrial embryo deposition lowers oxygen uptake without altering growth or survival in the amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus. Journal of Experimental Biology 218: 3249-3256. Featured in Inside JEB

Turko, A.J. and Wright, P.A. (2015). Evolution, ecology and physiology of amphibious killifishes (Cyprinodontiformes). Journal of Fish Biology 87:815-835.

Robertson, C.E., Turko, A.J., Jonz, M.G. and Wright, P.A. (2015). Hypercapnia and low pH induce neuroepithelial cell proliferation and emersion behaviour in the amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus. Journal of Experimental Biology 218:2987-2990.

Turko, A.J., Robertson, C.E., Bianchini, K., Freeman, M. and Wright, P.A. 2014. The amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus uses different strategies to maintain oxygen delivery during aquatic hypoxia and air exposure. Journal of Experimental Biology 217, 3988-3995.

Johnson, A.C., Turko, A.J., Klaiman, J.M., Johnston, E.F., and Gillis, T.E. 2014. Cold acclimation alters the connective tissue content of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) heart. Journal of Experimental Biology 217, 1868-1875.

Turko, A.J., Cooper, C.A., and Wright, P.A. 2012. Gill remodelling during terrestrial acclimation reduces aquatic respiratory function of the amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus. Journal of Experimental Biology 215, 3973-3980.

Turko, A.J., Earley, R.L., and Wright, P.A. 2011. Behaviour drives morphology: voluntary emersion patterns shape gill structure in genetically identical mangrove rivulus. Animal Behaviour 82, 39-47.