Prof Jim Mallet
Emeritus Professor of Biological Diversity
Genetics, Evolution & Environment
Div of Biosciences
- Joined UCL
- 1st Aug 1994
Together with an able research group, I am interested in understanding the interface between genetic variation within species at a regional and local level, and the evolutionary transition to species. We concentrate on tropical South American butterflies in the Heliconiinae (especially genus Heliconius) and Ithomiinae. These groups are good examples of rapid adaptive radiation in the tropics.
We are interested in key factors causing the separation of closely related forms into species. We are extremely interested in applying genomics technology to such problems, given that the cost of genomics-scale genetic work has now dropped to a feasible level.
Our research is leading to a rethink of how evolution can split lineages into separate species. These findings are extremely important in conservation because, if we are to preserve existing biodiversity, we must understand the reasons for its existence and evolution.
For my UCL teaching, see: