Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo
Helen Putnam Fellow
University College London (United Kingdom)
Species and the Ecology and Evolution of Biological Diversity

James Mallet is a professor of biological diversity at University College London who would like to understand the origins and maintenance of the diversity of life on this planet. His research attempts to integrate ecology, genetics, evolution, and natural history. He studies butterflies and moths, particularly tropical butterflies of the genus Heliconius, and has published on the history of ideas in evolution.

While at Radcliffe, he will oversee a major project on the genomics of gene flow between species and investigate implications of the genetics of species for our understanding of biological diversity. If Darwin was correct and species are human constructs—mere way stations in evolution—then several prevailing ideas about speciation and biodiversity may be suspect. For example, do species really matter in ecology and conservation?

Mallet received a BA in zoology at the University of Oxford, an MSc in applied entomology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and a PhD in zoology at the University of Texas. He is currently an honorary research fellow at the Natural History Museum in London and a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a former director of the Centre for Ecology and Evolution in London and received a Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London in 2008 for major advances in evolutionary biology. His work has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Darwin Initiative, the Leverhulme Trust, the Natural Environment Research Council, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo