skip to content

Department of Genetics



2016 - Present: Post-Doctoral Researcher. Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge & CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto
2011 - 2015: PhD in Genetics. Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
2008 - 2010: MSc in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution. University of Porto
2005 - 2008: BSc in Biology. University of Porto


My research interests revolve around population genetics and evolutionary biology in general. I am currently investigating the genetic aspects of host-parasite interactions using as a model the European rabbit and the myxoma virus, an emblematic example of coevolution where less pathogenic strains and resistant hosts have emerged. With this, I am interested in understanding what genomic changes occurred in the rabbit as the result of this evolutionary arms race. This project is a joint collaboration with CIBIO-InBIO - Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (University of Porto, Portugal).


Key publications: 

Jones MR, Mills LS, Alves PC, Callahan CM, Alves JM, Lafferty DJ, Jiggins FM, Jensen JD, Melo-Ferreira J, Good JM: Adaptive introgression underlies polymorphic seasonal camouflage in snowshoe hares. Science 2018, 360(6395), 1355-1358 (DOI: 10.1126/science.aar5273) 

Longdon B, Day JP, Alves JM, Smith SCL, Houslay TM, McGonigle JE, Lucia Tagliaferri T, Jiggins FM: Host shifts result in parallel genetic changes when viruses evolve in closely related species PLoS Pathogens 2018, 14(4): e1006951 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006951)

Crawford J*, Alves JM*, Palmer WJ, Day JP, Sylla M, Ramasamy R, Surendran SN, Black WC IV, Pain A, Jiggins FM: Population genomics reveals that an anthropophilic population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in West Africa recently gave rise to American and Asian populations of this major disease vector. BMC Biology 2017 15:16 (DOI: 10.1186/s12915-017-0351-0) *Contributed equally

Alves JM, Carneiro M, Afonso S, Lopes S, Garreau H, Boucher S, Allain D, Queney G, Esteves PJ, Bolet G, Ferrand N: Levels and patterns of genetic diversity and population structure in domestic rabbits. PLoS ONE 2015, 10:e0144687 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144687)

Carneiro M, Piorno V, Rubin C-J, Alves JM, Ferrand N, Alves PC, Andersson L: Candidate genes underlying heritable differences in reproductive seasonality between wild and domestic rabbits. Animal Genetics 2015, 46:418-425 (DOI: 10.1111/age.12299)

Carneiro M, Rubin C-J, Di Palma F, Albert FW, Alfoldi J, Barrio AM, Pielberg G, Rafati N, Sayyab S, Turner-Maier J, Younis S, Afonso S, Aken B, Alves JM, et al.: Rabbit genome analysis reveals a polygenic basis for phenotypic change during domestication. Science 2014, 345:1074-1079 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1253714)

Postdoctoral Researcher
Jiggins Group
 Joel  Alves

Contact Details

Office G12
Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge
Downing Street
Cambridge CB2 3EH
+44 (0)1223 333 945
Not available for consultancy