Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Harvard expert will speak on butterflies

Brightly colored Heliconius butterflies, known for their mimicry, are involved in triggering the evolution of new species, says James Mallet, a distinguished lecturer at Harvard University, who will speak Wednesday at UC Davis.

Mallet will discuss “Hybridization, Mimicry and the Origin of Species in Heliconius Butterflies” from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Room 1022 of the Life Sciences Addition. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the UCD entomology department’s fall seminar series.

The adults’ brightly colored wing patterns signal their distastefulness to potential predators.

“It is a seductive idea that species are independent evolutionary units,” says Mallet, whose research focuses on the evolution and genetics of Amazonian butterflies. “Natural hybridization is rare in nature on a per-individual basis, but it may affect many species.

“Brightly colored Heliconius butterflies engage in Müllerian mimicry of other species. Although most of this mimicry is due to adaptive reconstruction of similar patterns, we’ve long suspected that color patterns are exchanged among some closely related species that hybridize occasionally in nature.”

Müllerian mimicry, named after German naturalist Fritz Müller, occurs when two or more poisonous species “that may or may not be closely related and share one or more common predators, have come to mimic each other’s warning signals” (Wikipedia).

“We have recently shown that genomic regions that determine mimicry have been exchanged repeatedly among species to form new, adaptive combinations,” Mallet says. “Through their joint effects on mating behavior and signaling to predators, these novel color patterns are also involved in triggering evolution of new species.”

Heliconius, a widespread genus, is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from South America to the southern United States. The larvae eat passion flower vines (Passifloraceae).

Before moving to Harvard, Mallet was a professor of biodiversity at University College London. He describes himself as an avid natural historian and a Darwin enthusiast. He has led courses in tropical ecology in southern Europe, Africa and across South America.

Mallet, appointed a distinguished lecturer earlier this year with Harvard’s department of organismic and evolutionary biology, served as a University College London professor from 1992 to 2012. He was a Helen Putnam Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study from 2009 to 2010.

Among his many appointments, Mallet is an honorary research fellow at the Natural History Museum, London, and a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama.

He received his bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1976 from Oxford University; his master’s degree in applied entomology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1978; and his doctorate in zoology at the University of Texas, Austin in 1984.

He was a Natural Environment Research Council Fellow in genetics and biometry from 1985 to 1988 at University College London before joining Mississippi State University’s department of entomology as an assistant professor.

Kathy Keatley Garvey

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

 
Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

.

Sports

Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8