The Jiggins Lab Webpage

Dr Rodrigo Cogni

Research Interests

I have broad interests in evolutionary biology and ecology. To study fundamental questions in these fields I use insects. Insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, and they are extremely easy to study in the laboratory and the field; this allows the development of integrative and multi-disciplinary research programs. I am particularly interested in combining genomic techniques and variation in natural populations to understand evolution of adaptations. Currently, I am using the interaction between Drosophila species and viruses as a model system to understand coevolution. By tracking the genetic basis of the mechanisms of virus resistance, we intend to address classical questions in coevolution, evolution of host-parasite specificity, and the maintenance of genetic variation in natural populations.


2012 - present - Research Associate, Francis Jiggins' group, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK.

2010 - 2012 - Post-doctoral Associate, Walter Eanes's group, Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, US.

2004 - 2010 - PhD, Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, US. Advisor: Douglas J. Futuyma.

2001 - 2003 - MA, Ecology, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil. Advisor: Paulo S. Oliveira.

1997 - 2001 - BSc, Biology, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil.


Cogni, R., K. Kuczynski, S. Koury, E. Lavington, E. L. Behrman, K. R. O'Brien, P. Schmidt & W. F. Eanes, 2013. The intensity of selection acting on the couch potato gene - spatial-temporal variation in a diapause cline. Evolution, in press.

Franco, M. S. & R. Cogni, 2013. Common-garden experiments reveal geographical variation in the interaction among Crotalaria pallida (Leguminosae: Papilionideae), Utetheisa ornatrix L. (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), and extrafloral nectary visiting ants. Neotropical Entomology 42: 223-229.

Cogni, R., J. R. Trigo & D. J. Futuyma, 2012. A free lunch: no costs for acquiring defensive plant alkaloids in an arctiid moth (Utetheisa ornatrix). Molecular Ecology 21: 6152-6162.

Hoina, A., C. H. Z. Martins, J. R. Trigo & R. Cogni, 2012. Preference for high concentrations of plant pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the specialist arctiid moth Utetheisa ornatrix depends on previous experience. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 7: 169-175.

Cogni, R., J. R. Trigo & D. J. Futuyma, 2011. Varying herbivore population structure correlates with lack of local adaptation in a geographic variable plant-herbivore interaction. PLoS ONE 6(12): e29220. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029220

Cogni, R. 2011. Book review: Experimental Evolution by Garland & Rose. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 396: 253-254.

Cogni, R., 2010. Biotic resistance to plant invasion? A native specialist herbivore shows preference for and higher fitness on an introduced host. Biotropica 42: 188-193.

Cogni, R. & D. J. Futuyma, 2009. Local adaptation in a plant herbivore interaction depends on the spatial scale. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97: 494-502.

Cogni, R. & P. S. Oliveira, 2004. Recruitment behavior during foraging in the neotropical ant Gnamptogenys moelleri (Formicidae: Ponerinae): does the type of food matter? Journal of Insect Behavior 17: 443-458.

Cogni, R. & P. S. Oliveira, 2004. Patterns in foraging and nesting ecology in the arboreal neotropical ponerine ant, Gnamptogenys moelleri. Insects Sociaux 51: 123-130.

Cogni, R., A. V. L. Freitas & P. S. Oliveira, 2003. Interhabitat differences in ant activity on plant foliage: Ants at extrafloral nectaries of Hibiscus pernambucensis in a sandy and mangrove forest. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 107: 125-131.

Bonato, V., R. Cogni & E. M. Venticinque, 2003. Ants nesting on Cecropia purpurascens (Cecropiaceae) in Central Amazonia: Influence of tree height, domatia volume and food bodies. Sociobiology 42: 719-727.

Cogni, R., G. W. Fernandes, D. L. M. Vieira, C. E. Marinelli, C. F. Jurinitz, B. R. Guerra, J. Zuanon & E. M. Venticinque, 2003. Galling insects (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) survive inundation during host plant flooding in Central Amazonia. Biotropica 35: 115-119.

Cogni, R., A. V. L. Freitas & B. F. Amaral-Filho, 2002. Influence of prey size on predation success by Zelus longipes (Heteroptera: Reduviidae). Journal of Applied Entomology 126: 74-78.

Guimaraes, P. R. & R. Cogni, 2002. Seed cleaning of Cupania vernalis (Sapindaceae) by ants: edge effect in a highland forest in Southeast Brazil. Journal of Tropical Ecology 18: 303-307.

Cogni, R. & A. V. L. Freitas, 2002. The ant assemblage visiting extrafloral nectaries of Hibiscus pernambucensis (Malvaceae) in a mangrove forest in Southeast Brazil (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 40: 373-383.

Cogni, R., R. L. G. Raimundo & A. V. L. Freitas, 2000. Daily activity of ants associated with the extrafloral nectaries of Turnera ulmifolia (Turneraceae) in a suburban area of Southeast Brazil. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 136: 141-147.