Prof Eamonn Mallon

Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Associate Dean of Research

School/Department: Genetics and Genome Biology, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3488



BA Hons. (Mod.) PhD

I was born in Dublin. After completing a BA(mod) in Zoology at Trinity College Dublin I studied for a PhD in ant colony self organisation with Professor Nigel Franks at the University of Bath. A move to Switzerland and bumblebees followed where I worked with Professor Paul Schmid-Hempel at the ETH Zurich. At the ETH I studied the role of immunity in pollinator behaviour. This continued when I took up my position at the University of Leicester. My current research involves studying epigenetic factors in social insects.

2001-2004: TMR Research Fellow ETH Zurich

1997-2001: PhD University of Bath (Supervisor: Nigel Franks)

1992-1997: BA (Hons) Trinity College Dublin Natural Sciences (Zoology)


Epigenetics is defined as the heritable change in expression of a gene without any change in the DNA sequence. Everything we do - diet habitat social interactions even aging - causes chemical modifications on genes that will turn those genes on or off: epigenetic changes. Many diseases including cancer and Alzheimer's show epigenetic changes between the normal or healthy state.

We research epigenetics in insects mainly bumblebees and wasps. We do this both as a model of more complicated systems - like humans - and because of insects’ importance in our survival. For example insect pollination services are worth 14.2 billion euros to Europe's economy. for more details



Pozo, M., Hunt, B.J., Mallon, E.B. et al. (2021) The effect of DNA methylation on bumblebee colony development. BMC Genomics 22, 73

Marshall, H.  van Zweden, J.S., Van Geystelen, A., Benaets, K., Wäckers, F., Mallon, E.B. & Wenseleers, T. (2020) Genome-wide search for parent-of-origin allele specific expression in Bombus terrestris. Evolution Letters 4 (6), 479-490

Marshall, H., Jones, A.R.C., Lonsdale, Z.N., & Mallon, E.B. (2020) Bumblebee worker castes show differences in allele-specific DNA methylation and allele-specific expression. Genome Biology and Evolution 12 (8), 1471-1481

Jones, A.R.C. & Mallon, E.B. (2020) Evidence of capacitation in the parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis and its potential role in sex allocation Ecology and  Evolution 0:1-9

Hunt, B.J., Mallon, E.B. & Rosato E. (2019) In silico identification of a molecular circadian system with novel features in the crustacean model organism Parhyale hawaiensis. Frontiers in Physiology.10, p 1325

Marshall, H.,  Lonsdale, Z.N., & Mallon, E.B. (2019) Methylation and Gene Expression Differences Between Reproductive Castes of Bumblebee Workers. Evolution Letters. 3(5), pp 485-499.

Harrison, M.C., Mallon, E.B., Twell, D. & Hammond, R.L. (2019) Deleterious mutation accumulation in Arabidophis thaliana pollen genes: a role for a recent relaxation of selection. Genome Biology and Evolution Volume 11, Issue 7 Pages 1939-1951.

Bebane, P., Hunt, B.J. Pegoraro, M., Jones, A. M., Marshall, H., Rosato, E., & Mallon, E.B. (2019) The neonicotinoid, imidicloprid affects gene expression and methylation in the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Proc. R. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 286 (1905)

Price, J., Harrison, M.C., Hammond, R.L., Adams, S., Gutierrez-Marcos J.F., & Mallon, E.B. (2018) Alternative splicing associated with phenotypic plasticity in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris Molecular Ecology 27 (4) pp 1036-1043

Lonsdale, Z.N., Lee, K.D., Kyriakidou, M., Amarasinghe, H.E., Nathanael, D., O'Connor, C.J. & Mallon, E.B. (2017) Allele specific expression and methylation in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris . PeerJ 5:e3798



Social insects

Social evolution




I teach the statistical components of our first year course in modules BS1040, BS1070 and MB1080. In second year I convene a BS2004 Contemporary techniques in biological data analysis.

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