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Department of Zoology


What are the origins of biodiversity?  How can insects contribute to a sustainable future for our planet? We study insects to understand evolution at the population and species level, and to better manage insect pests and promote a sustainable food system. We like genetics, and are doing a lot of genome analysis, but also think that we need to understand development, behaviour and ecology to make sense of evolution. So our research ranges across all of these topics.


Current research topics include:


Key Publications

Montejo-Kovacevich, G. et al. Repeated genetic adaptation to altitude in two tropical butterflies. Nat Commun 13, 4676 (2022).

Nadeau, N. J. et al. The gene cortex controls mimicry and crypsis in butterflies and moths. Nature 534, 106–110 (2016).

Brien, M. N. et al. Colour polymorphism associated with a gene duplication in male wood tiger moths. Elife 12, e80116 (2023).

Valencia-Montoya, W. A. et al. Adaptive Introgression across Semipermeable Species Boundaries between Local Helicoverpa zea and Invasive Helicoverpa armigera Moths. Mol Biol Evol (2020) 

Generalovic, T. N. et al. A high-quality, chromosome-level genome assembly of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens L.). G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics 11, jkab085 (2021).


Contact Details

Group Leader

Professor Chris Jiggins

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

01223  (7)69021

Group Members