Animal Biodiversity and Evolution

and Evolution

Diversity and
Evolution lab


Roger Vila CSIC Tenured Scientist

Roger Vila - CSIC Tenured Scientist
Butterfly Diversity and Evolution Lab Team
Butterfly Diversity and Evolution Lab

MEMBERS OF THE GROUP (Active in 2018)

Postdoctoral Researchers Gerard Talavera, Markus Franzén

Predoctoral Researcher Joan Carles Hinojosa

Research Technician Mattia Menchetti

Laboratory Technicians Cecília Corbella, Josep Lluís Roca

Undergraduate Student (Erasmus Mundus Programme) Isaac Kay-Lavelle (Visitor)


During 2018 we contributed to several major collaborative breakthroughs, including: 1) the first phylogenomic analysis for butterflies, 2) demonstrating that ecological specialization drives diversification in Lycaenidae, 3) support for a time-dependent model of diapause regulation using transcriptomics, and 4) the discovery of inverted meiosis as a means to rescue fitness in chromosomal hybrids. In studies led by our lab we assessed the reintroduction of a species, showed that Vanessa cardui migrates in a round-trip across the Sahara, and that Holarctic ant species are fewer than thought.


Lukhtanov, V.A.*, Dincă, V.*, Friberg, M., Šíchová, J., Olofsson, M., Vila, R., Marec, F., Wiklund, C. (2018) Versatility of multivalent orientation, inverted meiosis, and rescued fitness in holocentric chromosomal hybrids. PNAS 201802610; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1802610115 (*co-first authors) (Featured in the journal cover).

Espeland, M., Breinholt, J., Willmott, K.R., Warren, A.D., Vila, R., Toussaint, E.F.A., Maunsell, S.C., Aduse-Poku, K., Talavera, G., Eastwood, R., Jarzyna, M.A., Guralnick, R., Lohman, D.J., Pierce, N.E. & Kawahara, A.Y. (2018) A comprehensive and dated phylogenomic analysis of butterflies. Current Biology 28(5): 770-778; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.061.

Dincă, V., Bálint, Z., Vodă, R., Dapporto, L., Hebert, P.D.N. & Vila, R. (2018) Use of genetic, climatic, and microbiological data to inform reintroduction of a regionally extinct butterfly. Conservation Biology 32(4): 828-837; doi: 10.1111/cobi.13111.


2018-2019: Código de barras de lepidópteros (Insecta: Lepidoptera) en el departamento de Arequipa y sur de Perú. Proyectos de investigación básica o aplicada en ingenierías y ciencias biomédicas. Principal investigator: A.L. Lazo. 250,000 Peruvian Soles

2018-2020: The longest butterfly migration: monitoring and conservation of the Painted Lady butterfly breeding sanctuaries in tropical Africa (WW1-300R-18). RFPs for Long-Distance Animal Migration. National Geographic Society. Principal investigator: Gerard Talavera. $147,000

2018: Mediterranean butterflies meet the lions: An African monitoring network to study and preserve trans-Saharan migrations (WW1-300R-18). Barcelona Zoo Foundation Pric Grant Application. Principal investigator: Gerard Talavera. 8,000€

2018-2019: Discovering an adaptive radiation: uncharted butterfly-ant-plant ecological networks in the great South American Plata Basin (WW-224R-17). Committee for Research & Exploration. National Geographic Society. Principal investigator: Lucas A. Kaminski. $38,315

2018-2022: Progressing genomic revolution of species delimitation. Finnish Academy Project. Principal investigator: Marko Mutanen. 517,000€

2017-2020: Biodiversitat Animal i Evolució (2017 SGR 991). Grup de Recerca Consolidat. Suport als Grups de Recerca de Catalunya, Generalitat de Catalunya. Principal investigator: Salvador Carranza. 37,650€

2016-2019: Speciation genomics in non-model organisms: exploring the diversification continuum in European butterflies (RADMAR) (CGL2016-76322-P). Plan Nacional I+D+I. (AEI/FEDER, UE). Principal investigator: Roger Vila. 179,080€

2016-2020: ButterflyNet - an integrative framework for comparative biology. GoLife Program. National Science Foundation (USA). Principal investigator: David J. Lohman. $2,500,000

2015-2018: MIGRATION - The most cosmopolitan animal migration: phylogeography and population genomics of the butterfly Vanessa cardui (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF_622716). Marie Curie Actions— International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF). Scientist in Charge/Coordinator: Roger Vila. Research Fellow: Gerard Talavera. 254,474€


Butterfly Diversity and Evolution Lab members have built an international monitoring network to study the seasonal movements of the migratory butterfly Vanessa cardui. The project is led by Gerard Talavera and funded by the National Geographic Society and the Barcelona Zoo Foundation.