Collecting migrating Monarchs at the coast of Florida. St.Marks, October 27th 2019

About me:

I am currently a post doctoral researcher at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Here i am studying the levels of genome wide genetic differentiation between Eastern and Western Monarch butterfly populations. It was believed that a small populations of Monarchs are non-migratory in South Florida, Texas and Georgia. I am trying to find out the genetic basis of migration in Monarchs.

I did my PhD at Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University. I tried to understand the key forces underlying population differentiation and speciation in cryptic species of the wood white Leptidea butterflies. Using a combination of classical genetic and novel genomic tools we will try to identify and characterise the genetic regions that might have been involved in the build-up of reproductive isolation between these cryptic species of butterflies. My background and my core interests are in the field of bioinformatics and data analysis to solve biological questions.

Research overview:

My research interests focuses mostly of genetic basis of speciation. I primarily focus on the genomics and transcriptomics to understand the process of speciation. I have focused mainly on population genetics and how various statistics change with ecological and environmental changes. A part from the biology i am more fascinated by the biological data obtained to answer various questions. I have worked with the DNA data from a couple of model organisms. We used Genome assembly and K-mer based genome size estimation to understand genome size variation in cryptic species complex of european Wood white butterflies. We have used RNA-seq data to study the genetics of diapause in L. sinapis .In chiffchaff we assembled a reference assisted genome assembly and population samples from The common chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita abietinus) and Siberian chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis) to understand genetics of trait variation.

Butterfly migration has always fascinating topic for me. I am now working with the population re-sequencing data of Eastern and Western Monarchs to find out if there is any genetic basis to the difference in migratory path.


  • Bachelors of technology in Bioinformatics,

2007 to 2011, VIT University.

  • Masters of technology in Bioinformatics,

20011 to 2013, SASTRA University.

  • Research training,

2013 Ă–rebro University, 2014 Uppsala University, Sweden.

  • PhD in Evolutionary Biology,

2014 to 2018, Uppsala University, Sweden.

  • Post-doctoral researcher,

2019-Present, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.

Contact me:

Venkat Talla

Emory University

Room 1172

1510 Clifton Road

Atlanta GA 30322, USA



phone: +1 4632104457