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We study the evolution of diversity and adaptation, using colour patterns in butterflies as a model. Butterflies have very diverse colour patterns with clear adaptive functions such as camouflage, sexual signalling, thermoregulation, or advertisement to predators. We are now just starting to discover how gene networks underlie pattern formation and its natural variation. This provides the tools towards a better understanding of the evolution of adaptive traits, and their importance from individual physiology to the shaping of entire communities.

Updated 05/03/2012
Photo M. Joron

Feb 2013: Two papers on wing shape variation associated with mimicry and speciation.

May 2012: The Heliconius genome paper
is published in Nature!

Sep 2011: Chromosomal inversions maintain
mimicry diversity (Nature)
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle