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Dr Steven Van Belleghem


I work on the genomics of color pattern diversity and speciation of Heliconius butterflies in the butterfly genetics group with Chris Jiggins and in collaboration with Brian CountermanRiccardo Papa and Owen Mcmillan.

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 speciation in a ground beetle called Pogonus chalceus (Carabidae) which inhabits salt marshes along the European coasts. Additionally, I have been involved in several projects studying the phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships of parallel evolution in wolf spiders of the Galápagos archipelago.


Research Interests

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

Key Publications

Van Belleghem SM, Papa R, Ortiz-Zuazaga H, Hendrickx F, Jiggins CD, McMillan WO & Counterman BA (2017) patternize: An R package for quantifying color pattern variation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 9(2): 390-398.

Martin SH & Van Belleghem SM (2017) Exploring evolutionary relationships across the genome using topology weighting. Genetics 206: 429–438.

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 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.

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.