The Gamboa Heliconius Lab is mainly interested in the genetics of adaptation and speciation.

How do new species form?

How does adaptive variation arise and spread?

How is morphological variation created through development and modified by natural selection?

Is evolution predictable?

Our research has mainly focused on convergent evolution of wing pattern development in Heliconius butterflies throughout the New World tropics. 


Ficarrotta V, Hanly JJ, Loh LS, Francescutti CM, Ren A, Tunström K, … & Martin, A.  A genetic switch for male UV iridescence in an incipient species pair of sulphur butterflies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(3).


Heryanto C, Hanly JJ, Mazo-Vargas A, Tendolkar A, Martin A. Mapping and CRISPR homology-directed repair of a recessive white eye mutation in Plodia moths. iScience, 103885.


Dell’Aglio DD, McMillan WO, Montgomery SH. Shifting balances in the weighting of sensory modalities are predicted by divergence in brain morphology in incipient species of Heliconius butterflies. Animal Behaviour, 185, 83-90.


Hanly JJ, Livraghi L, Heryanto C, McMillan WO, Jiggins CD, Gilbert LE, Martin A. A large deletion at the cortex locus eliminates butterfly wing patterning. G3 Genes| Genomes| Genetics.


Hench K, Helmkampf M, McMillan WO, Puebla O. Rapid radiation in a highly diverse marine environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(4).


Dell’Aglio DD, Mena S, Mauxion R, McMillan WO, Montgomery S. Divergence in Heliconius flight behaviour is associated with local adaptation to different forest structures. Journal of Animal Ecology.

2022 Lepinars

Bi-weekly Zoom seminars featuring Lepidoptera researchers at 10AM Panama time (EST).

Contact Joana MeierGabriela Montejo-Kovacevich or Luca Livraghi if you wish to be added to the seminar email list. 

To view all previous Lepinars click here.

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Heliconius insectaries

Morrow Blvd & Pratt Parkway

Gamboa, Panama

Research inquires: mcmillano@si.edu

Outreach inquires: gamboaheliconius@gmail.com

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