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Meet Gabby: A PhD student researching South American butterflies

Gabriela Montejo-Kovacevich is an evolutionary geneticist studying how Heliconius butterflies adapt to different climates – research that often takes her deep into the Amazon rainforest.  

Gabriela Montejo-Kovacevich is from Madrid, Spain. She is in her first year studying for a PhD that looks at how Heliconius butterflies genetically adapt to different climates and environments – an area of research that is becoming increasingly relevant as our planet warms and scientists question how different organisms will respond and how rapidly they might be able to evolve.

In this short film Gabby tells us about her PhD project and the frequent trips she makes to South America to study butterflies in their natural habitat. We also meet Gabby’s supervisor, College Fellow and Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, Chris Jiggins. Gabby and Chris tell us about the challenges and surprises of working in the rainforest environment and demonstrate how methods of butterfly capture haven’t changed much since the 19th century.