Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

James Hutchison

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PhD Research Student  James Hutchison

Supervisor: Prof Roger Butlin
Start Date: 1st October 2007

Tab Lab

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
Alfred Denny Building
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN

Telephone: +44 (0)114 2220114
Fax: +44 (0)114 2220002


Investigating the Chorthippus parallelus Hybrid Zone

Research Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

My interests include all aspects of behavioural and evolutionary ecology. Currently I am studying the genetics of two sub-species of grasshopper; Chorthippus parallelus parallelus and Chorthippus parallelus erythropus. These two sub-species hybridise where they come into contact in the Pyrenees Mountains. When pure individuals from each population are crossed, the resulting F1 males are sterile. The results of my study will help us to understand the process of speciation and the evolution of genetic regions which lead to incompatibilities. 

C. p. parallelus are found throughout much of Europe and C. p. erythropus are found in the Iberian Peninsula. During the last ice age the two sub species are thought to have survived in separate refuges in southern Europe; C. p. parallelus possibly in Italy, the Balklans or the Caucasus  and C. p. erythropus in Southern Iberia. Secondary contact between the two sub-species occurred subsequent to initial allopatric changes in the genetics of the two populations. The hybrid zones formed in the Pyrenees occur at low altitude mountain passes.

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