Sean Mullen

Associate Professor, Boston University


Research in the Mullen lab is aimed at understanding the origin and maintenance of diversity at all levels of biological organization.  Within this broader context, we are particularly interested in the link between divergent natural and sexual selection of adaptive traits (e.g. - mimicry in butterflies) and the origins of barriers to gene exchange between closely-related populations (i.e. - speciation).

Current projects in the lab have focused on addressing fundamental questions about patterns of biodiversity (e.g. - latitudinal gradients in species richness; see Dimensions summary), and the role that life history evolution plays in driving adaptive diversification at both the larval and adult life-history stage among Neotropical Adelpha butterflies.

Students and postdocs in the lab employ a wide-variety of approaches, including: RAD-based phylogenetics and other whole genome-wide phylogenetic approaches (e.g. - Sliding window analyses), QTL-mapping, comparative and population genomic analyses of whole genome sequence data, RNA-seq, functional assays (e.g. -CRISPR/Cas9), as well as more traditional ecological techniques (e.g. - model-based predation experiments, behavioral and chemical assays of hostplant preference and performance).  Note that Inquiries from undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in joining the lab to pursue independent or collaborative research are always welcome


Evolutionary Genomics,

   Adaptation & Speciation,


Contact Information:

Sean P. Mullen

Department of Biology

5 Cummington Street

Boston, MA 02215

Phone: 617.358.4589