I have always been interested in understanding the hierarchy of life and the complex interactions between organisms. My broad research interests can be divided into three areas:
1) Butterfly evolution. At the age of 17 I volunteered at the Natural History Museum of London in the Lepidoptera collections. Dr Blanca Huertas, senior butterfly curator, gave me the opportunity to continue butterfly taxonomy research and return to the NHM several summers. In 2014, I started the taxonomic revision of a Neotropical butterfly genus from the Family Riodinidae and we expect to publish before the end of 2015. My PhD focuses on understanding how some butterfly species have adapted to a wide range of altitudes in the Andes/Amazon basin, using the well known Heliconius as a study system, and pinpointing the genomics and ecology of such adaptations.
2) Eco-evolutionary dynamics. I am interested in the the effects of ongoing evolution on community ecology. I have collaborated with Dr Timothy Farkas, at the Nosil Lab, studying the effects of the evolution of Timema cristinae camouflage on the coexisting arthropod community and the cascading trophic effects on plants. We also carried out field experiments to test the effects of density-dependent selection on camouflage, and I co-authored the resulting paper published in Biology Letters. HERE
3) Tropical ecology and conservation. In the summer of 2015, I spent three months in a logging concession at Rondonia (Brazil) to investigate the effects of different logging techniques on the diversity and abundance of butterflies. The outcomes of this project will be used by the logging company AMATA Brasil to minimize their impact on Amazon biodiversity. Supervised by Dr David Edwards. Funded by: The Explorers Club Youth Activity Fund, The Professor Hering Memorial Award (BENHS), The Scurfield Bursary (University of Sheffield) and the Laverick-Webster-Hewitt Travelling Fellowship (University of Sheffield). Now I collaborate with the sustainable logging company Green Gold Forestry in the Peruvian Amazon, and helping develop a biodiversity monitoring scheme.
Copies of publications can be found on my Research Gate
Montejo-Kovacevich G, Hethcoat M. G., Lim F.K.S, Marsh C.J., Bonfantti D., Peres C. & Edwards D.P. (2018) Impacts of selective logging management on butterflies in the Amazon (accepted in Biological Conservation)
Montejo-Kovacevich G & Huertas B (2017) Concealed Androconial Scales in Metalmark butterflies (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae): new insights from confocal laser scanning microscopy. Journal of Entomological Science 52(4):332-339
Montejo-Kovacevich G (2015) Butterflies and logging: an unexplored relationship. British Entomological and Natural History Journal (December 2015)
Farkas TE & Montejo-Kovacevich G (2014) Density-dependent selection closes an eco-evolutionary feedback loop in the stick insect Timema cristinae. Biology Letters 10: 20140896
I’m actively collaborating with the Universidad Amazónica de Ikiam, in particular with Dr Caroline Bacquet, a truly amazing project where a state-of-the-art university has been built next to the rainforest. With the help of NERC, Chris Jiggins, IKIAM, and AECID we have built a butterfly house that will be the base for the project on altitudinal adaptation in Heliconius butterflies. Here’s a news report done by IKIAM and a video: