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Hybrid zones: a quick guide by Ben Wielstra

Ben Wielstra studies hybrid zones, regions in which distinct populations of organisms meet, mate and produce genetically admixed offspring. In the journal Current Biology, he introduces hybrid zones in an accessible way.

Balkan crested newt (Triturus ivanbureschi) by Michael Fahrbach
Balkan crested newt (Triturus ivanbureschi) by Michael Fahrbach

Hybrid zones provide insight into speciation – the formation of new species – and the genetic barriers that underlie the origin of species. In a ‘quick guide’, Dr Ben Wielstra answers questions about hybrid zones, such as how hybrid zones come to be, whether they can move, and if hybrid zones can inform us about climate change.

Wielstra is assistant professor at the Institute of Biology Leiden and honorary researcher at Naturalis Biodiversity Center. He studies hybrid zone movement in several amphibian hybrid zones.

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