Mark Kauna Sanda


Room 411 Level 4, School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine, Graham Kerr Building, Glasgow G12 8QQ


Research title: How climate change is affecting economically important fish

Research Summary

Research interests

My research interests lies in the study of genetic diversity of farmed and wild fish species.  I am particularly keen in understanding the genetic diversity of farmed fish and how their possible escape could impact the wild populations. I would be using Double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing(ddRADseq), a reduced representation sequencing approach to characterise farmed and wild tilapia and catfish population.

In my masters thesis, I used Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1) DNA barcoding region to identify cichlids in Nigerian lakes. As an undergraduate student, I studied the growth and survival rates of Clarias anguillaris, Heterobranchus bidorsalis and their reciprocal hybrids with different stocking densities in different culture systems.

Current research

My PhD research topic is genetic diversity of economically important fish species in Nigeria. The aim of this research is to answer key questions such as: the levels of genetic and life history diversity in cultured and wild tilapia, and in catfish populations; the levels of inbreeding and introgression in cultured and wild populations; and whether environmental variables influence the genetic and life history diversity of fish populations. I will be analysing samples from imported tilapia used for aquaculture in Nigeria, native tilapia in the wild, wild and farmed Clarias species and Heterobranchus species.  

Research groups

  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Fish biology
  • Evolutionary analysis and diversity


Sogbesan, O.A., Sanda, M.K., Ja’afar, J.N. and Adedeji, H.A., 2017. DNA barcoding of tilapia species (Pisces: Cichlidae) from North-Eastern Nigeria. J Biotechnol Biomater7(4), pp.1-4.

Sanda, M.K., Onyia, L.U., Ochokwu, I.J. and Michael, K.G., 2015. Growth and Survival of Clarias anguillaris, Heterobranchus bidorsalis Fry and Their Reciprocal Hybrids Reared In Two Different Culture Units. IOSR, pp.54-57.

Duwal, S.D., Sanda, M.K., Amadi, G.C., Onyia, L.U. and Ja’afar, N.J., 2016. Preliminary Identification and Phylogenetic Study of Chrysichthys Pisces: Claroteidae from Upper River Benue, Nigeria Using Microsatellite DNA. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development5(9), pp.154-160.

Duwal, S.D., Garba, M.A., Yusuf, A.A., Tusayi, B.W., Amadi, G.C., Sanda, M.K., Peter, M.B., Kwaji, B.P., Baba, G.Y. and Sogbesan, O.A., 2015. Vulnerability of fishing communities to HIV/AIDS and impact on fish productivity in Nigeria. IOSR-JAVS8(2), pp.52-9.


Commonwealth Scholarships Commission 2021-2023


Amadi, G.C., Onyia, L.U., Sanda, M.K. and Duwal, S.D., 2015. Morphometrics and karyology of Clarias species: A review. Proceedings 39th Annual Conference of the Genetic Society of Nigeria, 27th -31st March, Bauchi.