Christopher Wheat

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Christopher Wheat


Ecological and Evolutionary Functional Genomics


Zoologiska institutionen: Populationsgenetik
+46 8 16 40 20
Personal web site:
+46 8 15 95 22
Visiting address:
Svante Arrheniusväg 18b
D 551
Postal address:
Stockholm University
Zoologiska institutionen: Populationsgenetik
106 91 Stockholm

Research interests

In my group, research is focused on finding and studying the genetic variation causing performance and fitness variation in natural populations, as well as putting this into an evolutionary context. We use whatever tools we can to address a given quesition, from butterfly nets to genomes.



Alexander Schäpers, Hampus Petrén, Christopher W. Wheat, Christer Wiklund, Magne Friberg. 2017. Female fecundity variation affects reproducibility of experiments on host plant preference and acceptance in a phytophagous insect. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 284.

Reuben W. Nowell, Ben Elsworth, Vicencio Oostra, Bas J. Zwaan, Christopher W. Wheat, Marjo Saastamoinen, Ilik J. Saccheri, Arjen E. Van't Hof, Bethany R. Wasik, Heidi Connahs, Muhammad L. Aslam, Sujai Kumar, Richard J. Challis, Antonia Monteiro, Paul M. Brakefield, Mark Blaxter. 2017. A high-coverage draft genome of the mycalesine butterfly Bicyclus anynana. GigaScience 6.

Philipp Lehmann, Wouter Van der Bijl, Sören Nylin, Christopher W. Wheat, Karl Gotthard. 2017. Timing of diapause termination in relation to variation in winter climate. Physiological entomology (Print) 42: 232-238.

Aaron B. A. Shafer, Claire R. Peart, Sergio Tusso, Inbar Maayan, Alan Brelsford, Christopher W. Wheat, Jochen B. W. Wolf. 2017. Bioinformatic processing of RAD-seq data dramatically impacts downstream population genetic inference. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8: 907-917.

Alyssa Woronik, Christopher W. Wheat. 2017. Advances in finding Alba - the locus affecting life history and color polymorphism in a Colias butterfly. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30: 26-39.

Peter Pruisscher, Helena Larsdotter-Mellström, Constantí Stefanescu, Sören Nylin, Christopher W. Wheat, Karl Gotthard. 2017. Sex-linked inheritance of diapause induction in the butterfly Pieris napi. Physiological entomology (Print) 42: 257-265.

Naomi L. P. Keehnen, Jens Rolff, Ulrich Theopold, Christopher W. Wheat. 2017. Insect Antimicrobial Defences - A Brief History, Recent Findings, Biases, and a Way Forward in Evolutionary Studies. Advances in Insect Physiology 52: 1-33.

Ramprasad Neethiraj, Emily A. Hornett, Jason A. Hill, Christopher W. Wheat. 2017. Investigating the genomic basis of discrete phenotypes using a Pool-Seq-only approach - New insights into the genetics underlying colour variation in diverse taxa. Molecular Ecology 26: 4990-5002.

Maria de la Paz Celorio-Mancera, Christopher W. Wheat, Mikael Huss, Francesco Vezzi, Ramprasad Neethiraj, Johan Reimegård, Sören Nylin, Niklas Janz. 2016. Evolutionary history of host use, rather than plant phylogeny, determines gene expression in a generalist butterfly. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16.

Aaron B. A. Shafer, Jochen B. W. Wolf, Paulo C. Alves, Linnea Bergström, Guy Colling, Love Dalén, Luc De Meester, Robert Ekblom, Simone Fior, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, A. Rus Hoezel, Jacob Hoglund, Evelyn L. Jensen, Michael Krützen, Anita J. Norman, E. Martin Österling, N. Joop Ouborg, John Piccolo, Craig R. Primmer, Floyd A. Reed, Marie Roumet, Jordi Salmona, Michael K. Schwartz, Gernot Segelbacher, Jens Thaulow, Mia Valtonen, Philippine Vergeer, Matthias Weissensteiner, Christopher W. Wheat, Carlese Vilà, Piotr Zieliński. 2016. Genomics in Conservation - Case Studies and Bridging the Gap between Data and Application Reply. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31: 83-84.

Philipp Lehmann, Peter Pruisscher, Diana Posledovich, Mikael Carlsson, Reijo Käkelä, Patrik Tang, Sören Nylin, Christopher W. Wheat, Christer Wiklund, Karl Gotthard. 2016. Energy and lipid metabolism during direct and diapause development in a pierid butterfly. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 3049-3060.

Aaron B. A. Shafer, Jochen B. W. Wolf, Paulo C. Alves, Linnea Bergstrom, Michael W. Bruford, Ioana Brannstrom, Guy Colling, Love Dalen, Luc De Meester, Robert Ekblom, Katie D. Fawcett, Simone Fior, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Jason A. Hill, A. Rus Hoezel, Jacob Hoglund, Evelyn L. Jensen, Johannes Krause, Torsten N. Kristensen, Michael Kruetzen, John K. McKay, Anita J. Norman, Rob Ogden, E. Martin Osterling, N. Joop Ouborg, John Piccolo, Danijela Popovic, Craig R. Primmer, Floyd A. Reed, Marie Roumet, Jordi Salmona, Tamara Schenekar, Michael K. Schwartz, Gernot Segelbacher, Helen Senn, Jens Thaulow, Mia Valtonen, Andrew Veale, Philippine Vergeer, Nagarjun Vijay, Caries Vila, Matthias Weissensteiner, Lovisa Wennerström, Christopher W. Wheat, Piotr Zielinski. 2015. Genomics and the challenging translation into conservation practice. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 30: 78-87.

Patrick P. Edger, Hanna M. Heidel-Fischer, Michael Bekaert, Jadranka Rota, Gernot Gloeckner, Adrian E. Platts, David G. Heckel, Joshua P. Der, Eric K. Wafula, Michelle Tang, Johannes A. Hofberger, Ann Smithson, Jocelyn C. Hall, Matthieu Blanchette, Thomas E. Bureau, Stephen I. Wright, Claude W. dePamphilis, M. Eric Schranz, Michael S. Barker, Gavin C. Conant, Niklas Wahlberg, Heiko Vogel, J. Chris Pires, Christopher W. Wheat. 2015. The butterfly plant arms-race escalated by gene and genome duplications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112: 8362-8366.

C. Morandin, K. Dhaygude, J. Paviala, K. Trontti, Christopher Wheat, H. Helanterä. 2015. Caste-biases in gene expression are specific to developmental stage in the ant Formica exsecta. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28: 1705-1718.

Virpi Ahola, Rainer Lehtonen, Panu Somervuo, Leena Salmela, Patrik Koskinen, Pasi Rastas, Niko Valimaki, Lars Paulin, Jouni Kvist, Niklas Wahlberg, Jaakko Tanskanen, Emily A. Hornett, Laura C. Ferguson, Shiqi Luo, Zijuan Cao, Maaike A. de Jong, Anne Duplouy, Olli-Pekka Smolander, Heiko Vogel, Rajiv C. McCoy, Kui Qian, Wong Swee Chong, Qin Zhang, Freed Ahmad, Jani K. Haukka, Aruj Joshi, Jarkko Salojarvi, Christopher W. Wheat, Ewald Grosse-Wilde, Daniel Hughes, Riku Katainen, Esa Pitkanen, Johannes Ylinen, Robert M. Waterhouse, Mikko Turunen, Anna Vaharautio, Sami P. Ojanen, Alan H. Schulman, Minna Taipale, Daniel Lawson, Esko Ukkonen, Veli Makinen, Marian R. Goldsmith, Liisa Holm, Petri Auvinen, Mikko J. Frilander, Ilkka Hanski. 2014. The Glanville fritillary genome retains an ancient karyotype and reveals selective chromosomal fusions in Lepidoptera. Nature Communications 5: 4737.

Niklas Wahlberg, Jadranka Rota, Michael F. Braby, Naomi E. Pierce, Christopher W. Wheat. 2014. Revised systematics and higher classification of pierid butterflies (Lepidoptera - Pieridae) based on molecular data. Zoologica Scripta 43: 641-650.

Niklas Wahlberg, Christopher W. Wheat, Carlos Pena. 2013. Timing and Patterns in the Taxonomic Diversification of Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths). PLoS ONE 8: e80875.

Maria de la Paz Celorio-Mancera, Christopher W. Wheat, Heiko Vogel, Lina Söderlind, Niklas Janz, Sören Nylin. 2013. Mechanisms of macroevolution - polyphagous plasticity in butterfly larvae revealed by RNA-Seq. Molecular Ecology 22: 4884-4895.

Christopher W. Wheat, Niklas Wahlberg. 2013. Critiquing blind dating - the dangers of over-confident date estimates in comparative genomics. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28: 636-642.

Christopher W. Wheat, Niklas Wahlberg. 2013. Phylogenomic Insights into the Cambrian Explosion, the Colonization of Land and the Evolution of Flight in Arthropoda. Systematic Biology 62: 93-109.

Other academic

Alyssa Woronik, Akito Kawahara, Andrew Warren, Anton Chichvarkhin, Christopher Wheat. A phylogenetic analysis of butterflies in the genus Colias.

Alyssa Woronik, Ramprasad Neethiraj, Philipp Lehmann, de la Paz Celorio Mancera Maria, Constanti Stefanescu, Jason Hill, Reijo Käkelä, Oskar Brattstrom, Christopher Wheat. A transposable element insertion is associated with a female-limited, alternative life history strategy.

Alyssa Woronik, Constanti Stefanescu, Reijo Käkelä, Christopher Wheat, Philipp Lehmann. Physiological differences between female limited, alternative life history strategies: the Alba phenotype in the butterfly Colias croceus.