In July 2022, I started my new research group in the Tree of Life Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Tree of Life is a young research programme with four research groups, led by Mark Blaxter, Mara Lawniczak, Kamil Jaron and me. While we all have our own faculty projects focusing on different aspects of … More New Group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute
Almost all mammals (including humans) share the same sex chromosomes, whereby individuals with a Y chromosome are male (XY) and individuals with two X chromosomes (XX) are female. Male elephants, cats and men all have a very similar Y chromosome that evolved in their common ancestor 180 million years ago. In fishes, sex determination is … More Identification of a novel sex determining chromosome in cichlid fishes that acts as XY or ZW in different lineages
This PNAS paper is the result of a very fruitful collaboration with Frank Chan and Marek Kucka from the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany, who developed a new linked-read sequencing technology. Their method allows extremely cheap sequencing and provides high-quality data that even allows to assess chromosomal rearrangements for very low costs. Our joint … More New PNAS paper on the parallel evolution of two hybrid races of Heliconius butterflies
Gabriel Jamie and I wrote a TREE review on the persistence of polymorphisms across species radiations. Polymorphisms, i.e. the presence of different variants/morphs in the same species, are often viewed as precursors to species whereby the different morphs evolve into different species. The presence of polymorphisms has been linked to increased speciation rates. However, in … More The Persistence of Polymorphisms across Species Radiations
In this paper published in Nature Communications, we show that many new cichlid fish species evolved Lake Mweru, all of which evolved from hybrid origin. We show that in the nearby Lake Bangweulu, there are no new cichlid species and no evidence for hybridisation. This paper shows that the coincidence of ecological opportunity and hybridisation … More Hybridisation and ecological opportunity together explain the rapid cichlid diversification in Lake Mweru
St John’s College at University of Cambridge made a movie to explain the fellowship I currently hold. They featured me in it:
Our new paper on how old alleles, often derived from hybridization, importantly contribute to rapid speciation and adaptive radiation is out in Trends in Ecology and Evolution! I am shared first author with David A Marques and Ole Seehausen is last author. Thanks to David and Ole for pulling this manuscript through the good and … More Combinatorial view on speciation
In a study led by Sara Lipshutz, we investigated a hybrid zone of Jacana species in Panama. We found adaptive introgression of a female-competitive trait in these sex-role reverse species. Congratulations to Sara for this great piece of work!
Since October 2018, I am now in Cambridge. I have settled in well and am enjoying the scientifically excellent and friendly environment at the Department of Zoology. The group of Chris Jiggins is a lot of fun. I have started two research projects on the genomics of adaptation and speciation in Heliconius butterflies. One on … More Working on Heliconius butterflies
I am very happy to announce that on 1 October, I will start a St John’s College research fellowship at University of Cambridge! I will work with Chris Jiggins on Heliconius butterflies and also develop my own study system.