skip to content

Department of Zoology



2018 - present: Bateson Research Fellow (JRF) at St John's College, Cambridge, associated with the group of Chris Jiggins

2016 - 2018: Postdoc in the group of Aquatic Ecology and Evolution with Ole Seehausen, University of Bern and EAWAG, Switzerland

2012 - 2016: PhD in Ecology and Evolution with Ole Seehausen and Laurent Excoffier, University of Bern and EAWAG, Switzerland

2010 - 2012: Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution in the population genetics group with Gerald Heckel, University of Bern


My main research focus is on speciation and evolutionary genomics. Why do some taxa rapidly generate new species, whereas others remain species-poor? I am particularly interested in the role of hybridisation (interbreeding) in rapid speciation and adaptation. My study systems include Heliconius and ithomine butterflies from the Andes in Ecuador and cichlid fishes from the East African Lake Victoria.


Key publications: 

Marques D. A.*, Meier J. I.*, Seehausen O. A combinatorial view on speciation and adaptive radiation (*shared first authors listed alphabetically). Trends Ecol Evol, 34:531-544

Meier J. I., Marques D. A., Wagner C. E., Excoffier L., Seehausen O. 2018. Genomics of parallel ecological speciation in Lake Victoria cichlids. Mol Biol Evol, 35: 1489-1506

Meier J. I., Marques D. A., Mwaiko S., Wagner C. E., Excoffier L., Seehausen O. 2017. Ancient hybridization fuels rapid cichlid fish adaptive radiations. Nature Comm, 8: doi:10.1038/ncomms14363

Meier J. I., Sousa V. S., Marques D. A., Selz O. M., Wagner C. E., Excoffier L., Seehausen O. 2017. Demographic modelling of whole genome data reveals parallel origin of similar Pundamilia cichlid species after hybridization. Mol Ecol, 26: 123-141.

Other publications: 

Meier J. I., Stelkens R. B., Joyce D. A., Mwaiko S., Phiri N., Schliewen U., Selz O. M., Wagner C. E., Katongo C., Seehausen O. Sympatric cichlid radiations facilitated by hybridization and forged by ecological interactions. Accepted at Nat Comms.

Runemark A., Vallejo-Marin M., Meier J. I. Eukaryote Hybrid Genomes. Invited topic page accepted at PloS Genet

Montejo-Kovacevich G., Smith J. E., Meier J. I., Bacquet C. N., Whiltshire-Romero E., Nadeau N. J., Jiggins C. Altitude and life-history shape the evolution of Heliconius wings. bioRxiv 690396; doi:

Lipshutz S. E., Meier J. I., Derryberry G. E., Miller M.J., Seehausen O., Derryberry E. P. 2018. Differential introgression of a female competitive trait in a hybrid zone between sex-role reversed species. Evolution, doi: 10.1111/evo.13675

Runemark A., Eroukhmanoff F., Bolanos A. N., Hermansen J. S., Meier J. I. 2018. Hybridization, sex specific genomic architecture and local adaptation. Phil Trans R Soc B, 373: 20170419

Moser F., van Rijssel J., Mwaiko S., Meier J. I., Ngatunga B., Seehausen O. 2018. The onset of ecological diversification 50 years after colonisation of a crater lake by haplochromine cichlid fish. Proc R Soc B, 285: 20180171

Feulner P. G. D., Schwarzer J., Häsler M. P., Meier J. I., Seehausen O. 2018, A dense linkage map of Lake Victoria cichlids improved the Pundamilia genome assembly and revealed a major QTL for sex determination. G3, 200207.2018

Marques D. A., Lucek K, Haesler M. P., Feller A. F., Meier J. I., Wagner C. E., Excoffier L., Seehausen O. 2017. Genomic landscape of early ecological speciation initiated by selection on nuptial colour. Mol Ecol, 26: 7-14.

Marques D. A., Lucek K., Meier J. I., Mwaiko S., Wagner C. E., Excoffier L. and Seehausen O. 2016. Genomics of rapid incipient speciation in sympatric threespine stickleback. PLoS Genetics, 12: e1005887.

Seehausen, O., (…) Meier, J. I., et al. (33 authors total) 2014. Genomics and the origin of species. Nature Rev Genet, 15: 176-192.

Bateson Research Fellow, St John's College