Owen McMillan

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Owen McMillan

I am broadly interested the genetics of adaptation and speciation. How do new species form? How does adaptive variation arise and spread? How is morphological variation created through development and modified by natural selection? and is evolution predictable? The focus of my research in recent years has been the convergent evolution of wing pattern development in Heliconius butterflies (for which the genome is now available) throughout the new-world tropics. In addition to broad geographic sampling of butterflies, my group also maintains populations of various species of Heliconius that can be used for experimental crosses.

Suggested Reading
  • McMillan, W. O., A. Monteiro, and D. Kapan. (2002) Evolution and development on the wing. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 17: 125-133

  • Hines, H. M., B. A. Counterman, R. Papa, et al  (2011)  Wing patterning gene redefines the mimetic history of Heliconius butterflies Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 118(49): 19666-19671.

  • Counterman, B. A., F. Araujo-Perez, H. Hines, et al.  (2010)  Genomic Hotspots of Mimicry: the population genetics of two warning color loci in Heliconius eratoPLoS Genetics 6(2): e1000796