Tim Thurman’s hybridization paper published!

H. erato hybrid zone

Congratulations to Tim Thurman whose paper examining Heliconius erato hybrid zone movement across Panama was recently published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. This is the third time the hybrid zone has been examined since it’s discovery approximately 30 years ago and shows the slowed continuation of a westward movement. Factors contributing to the movement are unclear, but deforestation is surprisingly not the main driver. A link to the abstract can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jeb.13499

Jessica Foley awarded STRI Short-term Fellowship!

Jessica Foley in Ecuador

Jessica was recently awarded the STRI short-term fellowship to carry out a project studying longevity and cognitive decline in Heliconius butterflies. Working under the supervision of both Dr. Owen McMillan and Dr. Stephen Montgomery of the Evolution of Brains and Behaviour (EBAB) lab in Cambridge, she will study the effects of age on learning and memory tests in both Heliconius and Dryas butterflies, with the aim of investigating a potential differential senescence in cognitive ability between the two genera. Will the physiological robustness conferred upon Heliconius by their pollen-feeding behaviour translate to a similar robustness in cognitive ability compared to their non-pollen-feeding close relatives?

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