“Adaptation is actually causing the origin of a new species,” Kronforst says, referring to a discovery he helped detail in a 2009 Science paper. “We’re trying to tackle these big questions of how organisms adapt and diverge.”
Kronforst published a breakthrough paper last year in which he and his colleagues described how they sequenced the genome of a butterfly species and found that it shared the same color-patterning DNA with two other species.
Dasmahapatra K.K., Walters J.R., Briscoe A.D., Davey J.W., Whibley A., Nadeau N.J., Zimin A.V., Hughes D.S.T., Ferguson L.C. & Martin S.H. & (2012). Butterfly genome reveals promiscuous exchange of mimicry adaptations among species, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature11041