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, thermal regulation, or advertisement to predators. We are now discovering genes and genomic structures which underlie pattern formation and its natural variation. This provides the tools towards a better understanding of the evolution of adaptive traits, their ecology, and their importance from individual physiology to the shaping of entire communities.
We are at the Centre for Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CEFE-CNRS) in Montpellier, France