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Dr Steven Van Belleghem

Dr Steven Van Belleghem

Research associate

Office Phone: 01223 (3)36644


I did my PhD at Terrestrial Ecology Unit (TEREC) at Ghent University and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) in Belgium under the supervision of Frederik Hendrickx. In my PhD I studied behavioural and genetic mechanisms of incipient sympatric speciation in a ground beetle called Pogonus chalceus (Carabidae) which inhabits Western European salt marshes. Additionally, I have been involved in several projects studying the phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships of parallel evolution in wolf spiders of the genus Hogna of the Galápagos archipelago.

During my PhD, studies on Heliconius butterflies have been an indispensable model for my personal research and finding the opportunity to work with the butterfly genetics group has resulted in my current relocation to Cambridge. I am currently affiliated to: Brian CountermanRiccardo PapaOwen Mcmillan and Chris Jiggins.

Research Interests

Currently working on population genomics of the Heliconius erato and melpomene radiation.

Key Publications

Van Belleghem SM, Rastas P, Papanicolaou A, Martin SH, Arias CF, Supple MA, Hanly JJ, Mallet J, Lewis JJ, Hines HM, Ruiz M, Salazar C, Linares M, Moreira GRP, Jiggins CD, Counterman BA, McMillan WO & Papa R (2017) Complex modular architecture around a simple toolkit of wing pattern genes. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 0052 .

Van Belleghem SM, De Wolf K & Hendricks F (2016) Behavioral adaptations imply a direct link between ecological specialization and reproductive isolation in a sympatrically diverging ground beetle. Evolution 70(8): 1904-1912.

Van Campenhout J, Vanreusel A, Van Belleghem SM & Derycke S (2016) Transcription, signaling receptor activity, oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism mediate the presence of closely-related cryptic species in distinct intertidal and cold-seep habitats. Genome Biology and Evolution 8(1): 51-69.

Arias C, Van Belleghem SM & McMillan WO (2016) Genomics at the evolving species boundary. Current Opinion in Insect Science 13: 7-15.

Hendrickx F, Backeljau T, Dekoninck W, Van Belleghem SM, Vandomme V & Vangestel C (2015) Persistent inter- and intraspecific gene exchange within a parallel radiation of caterpillar hunter beetles (Calosoma sp.) from the Galápagos. Molecular Ecology 24(12): 3107–3121.

Van Belleghem SM, Roelofs D & Hendrickx F (2015). Evolutionary history of a dispersal associated locus across sympatric and allopatric diverged populations of a wing-polymorphic beetle across Atlantic Europe. Molecular Ecology 24(4): 890-908.

**News & views: Raeymaekers JAM & Backeljau T (2015) Recurrent adaptation in a low-dispersal trait. Molecular Ecology 24(4): 699-701.

De Busschere C, Van Belleghem SM & Hendrickx F (2015) Intra and inter island introgression in a wolf spider radiation from the Galápagos, and its implications for parallel evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 73-84.

Van Belleghem SM & Hendrickx F (2013) A tight association in genetically unlinked dispersal related traits in sympatric and allopatric salt marsh beetle populations. Genetica 142: 1-9.

Van Belleghem SM, Roelofs D, Van Houdt J & Hendrickx F (2012) De novo transcriptome assembly and SNP discovery in the wing polymorphic salt Marsh beetle Pogonus chalceus (Coleoptera, Carabidae). PLoS ONE 7(8): e42605.

De Busschere C, Baert L, Van Belleghem SM, Dekoninck W & Hendrickx F (2012) Parallel phenotypic evolution in a wolf spider radiation on Galápagos. Biological journal of the Linnean Society 106(1): 123-136.

De Busschere C, Hendrickx F, Van Belleghem SM & Baert L (2010) Parallel habitat specialization within the wolf spider genus Hogna from the Galápagos. Molecular Ecology 19(18): 4029-4045.