Research themes

Our research is primarily directed towards answering a basic, but still poorly understood riddle: how do new species arise?  My group and I focus on evolution and ecology of butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), particularly near the species boundary.  The Lepidoptera form 15-20% of the world's described species, yet are poorly known genetically.
Host races in the larch budmoth Zeiraphera diniana (Tortricidae)
Hybridization and evolution in Heliconius butterflies
Evolution of British butterflies Aricia spp. (brown argus) and Plebejus argus (silver-studded blue)
Sibling species ecology and evolution in Anopheles mosquitoes
Taxonomy, mimicry and biogeography in the Ithomiinae
The Taxome Project (complete taxonomy of the world's Lepidoptera)

Although our primary interests are in genetic and systematic studies of populations, geographic forms, and speciation, many of our results have obvious implications for conservation of endangered taxa. I remain committed to and interested in topics such as insecticide resistance, safety concerns about the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and in the biodiversity and conservation applications of our work.

Research group
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