A view of Trindade Island, a collecting spot for the study. "In order to crack the forces that shape ocean life around islands, we decided to dig into the evolutionary history of Brazilian reef fishes," says Pinheiro, Academy researcher and member of its Hope for Reefs team. "When we focused on 10 species in a chain of volcanic seamounts and islands off the coast of Brazil, we saw that older endemic species were larger. These large fishes were better dispersers than their 'younger' species counterparts, which were all small, bad dispersers. It's clear that these unique marine environments need their own model to explain what lives where over time."