From Populations to Species: Genome Wide Patterns of Divergence in Heliconius Butterflies

Date: 30 October 2018

Time: 11 am

Place: University of Puerto Rico – Cayey

Sponsor: Biology Honor Society


What drives biological diversity? Dr. Steven Van Belleghem uses hundreds of Heliconius butterfly genomes to study patterns of adaptation and the transition towards the evolution of new reproductively isolated species. These patterns can explain the evolution of biological diversity, but are generally hidden in a heterogeneous background that is driven by population size change and genome characteristics such as recombination rate. Dr. Steven Van Belleghem will present the challenges and successes in identifying patterns of adaptation and speciation in Heliconius butterflies and the necessity for a thorough dissection of the evolutionary history of these populations.