Brian A. Counterman
Department of Biological Sciences
Associate Professor

Office: 141 Funchess Hall

Lab: 142 Funchess Hall

Address: 101 Life Sciences Bldg.
Auburn University, AL 36849

Fax: (334) 844-1645


Postdoctoral Researcher – Genetics, North Carolina State University
Ph.D. – Biology, Duke University
B.S. – Ecology and Evolution, UC Santa Barbara

Research and Teaching Interests

My research takes an integrative approach to studying the developmental and genomic changes involved in adaptation and speciation. My lab leverages the amazing diversity on butterfly wings, their amenability for laboratory experimentation and advances in genomics to better understand how novel adaptive traits and new species arise in nature.

My teaching interests focus on Development, Evolution, and Genetic courses.

Selected Publications

  1. Van Belleghem SM, Paola A, Heriberto CG, Counterman BA, R Papa R. 2020. Perfect mimicry between Heliconius butterflies is constrained by genetics and development. Proc. R. Soc. B. 287:20201267.

  2. Rodriguez Caro LF, Fenner J, Benson C, Van Belleghem SM, Counterman BA. 2020. Genome assembly of the dogface butterfly Zerene cesonia. Genome Biology & Evolution. 12:3580-3585.

  3. Lewis JJ, Geltman RC, Pollak PC, Rondem KE, Van Belleghem SM, Hubisz MJ, Munn PR, Zhang L, Benson C, Mazo-Vargas A, Danko CG, Counterman BA, Papa R, & Reed RD. 2019 Parallel evolution of ancient, pleiotropic enhancers underlies butterfly wing pattern mimicry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116:24174-24183.

  4. Edelman NB, Frandsen PB, Miyagi M, Clavijo B, Davey J, Dikow RB, García-Accinelli G, Van Belleghem SM, Patterson N,  Neafsey DE, Challis R, Kumar S, Moreira GRP, Salazar C, Chouteau M, Counterman BA, Papa R, Blaxter M, Reed RD, Dasmahapatra KK, Kronforst M, Joron M, Jiggins CD, McMillan WO, Di Palma F, Blumberg AJ, Wakeley J, Jaffe D, Mallet J. 2019. Genomic architecture and introgression shape a butterfly radiation. Science. 366:594-599.

  5. Concha C, Wallbank RWR,  Hanly JJ, Fenner J, Livraghi, L, Santiago Rivera E, Paulo DF, Arias C, Vargas M, Sanjeev M, Morrison C, Tian D, Aguirre P, Ferrara S, Foley J, Pardo-Diaz C, Salazar C, Linares M, Massardo D, Counterman BA,  Scott MJ,  Jiggins CD, Papa R, Martin A, McMillan WO. 2019. Interplay between Developmental Flexibility and Determinism in the Evolution of Mimetic Heliconius Wing Patterns. Current Biology. 29:3996-4009.

  6. Fenner J, Rodriguez Caro LF, and Counterman BA. 2019. Plasticity and divergence in ultraviolet reflecting structures on Dogface butterfly wings. Arthropod Structure & Development. 51:14-22.

  7. Van Belleghem SM, Baquero M, Papa R, Salazar C, McMillan WO, Counterman BA, Jiggins CD, Martin SH. 2018. Patterns of Z chromosome divergence among Heliconius species highlight the importance of historical demography. Molecular Ecology. 27:3852-3872.

  8. Van Belleghem SM, Papa R, Ortiz-Zuazaga H, Hendrickx F, Jiggins CD, McMillan WO, Counterman BA. 2018. patternize: An R package for quantifying color pattern variation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 9:390-398.

  9. Van Belleghem SM, Rastas P, Papanicolaou A, Martin SH, Arias CF, Supple MA, Hanly JJ, Mallet J, Lewis JJ, Hines HM, Ruiz, M, Salazar C, Linares M, Moreira GRP, Jiggins CD, Counterman BA, McMillan WO, Papa R. 2017. Complex modular architecture around a simple toolkit of wing pattern genes. Nature Ecol. Evol. 1:0052.

  10. Shaak SG, Counterman BA. 2017. High warning colour polymorphism in Heliconius hybrid zone roosts. Ecological Entomology. 42:315-324.

  11. Supple M, Papa R, Hines H, McMillan WO, Counterman BA. 2015. Divergence with gene flow across the speciation continuum in Heliconius erato. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 15:204.

  12. Supple M, Hines HM, Lavoie C, Ray D, Nielsen DM, Salazar C, Dasmahaptara K, McMillan WO, Counterman BA. 2013. Genomic architecture of adaptive color pattern divergence and convergence in Heliconius butterflies. Genome Research. 23:1248-1257.

Google Scholar Page


Undergraduate Graduate
Human Genetics – BIOL4150
Genetics - BIOL3000

Last updated: 08/16/2023