This board seems to be generally well informed and therefor I thought I would ask around here. It's not primarily aimed at Cichlid conservation, maybe more towards developing a general respect for nature/fish, but this still seemed like the best part of the forum to place my question. Plus, Cichlids would be an interesting option for this.
I'm a Dutch university Biology student (MSc level) and I specialize in fish physiology. Most of the work I've done, or have come into contact with, evolves around pharmaceutical applications of fish models or aquaculture related research. My current project for instance is on fish scale physiology, but within a pharmaceutical context (osteoporosis).
My aim, however, is to draw a bridge between physiological research on fish and their natural habitat. There are approximately 35,000 species of fish that inhabit virtually every niche, and it's this adaptive capacity that drew my attention. In my opinion fish are excellent for furthering our knowledge with respect to adaptations (evolution, extreme environments, adaptive physiological processes) and that this knowledge can function as a means of developing more respect for nature (thus helping conservation). The trouble is that I have found very few places where research on fish is conducted. Are there people who know places where research like this is done? PhD (funding) opportunities maybe?