the founder effect is the loss of genetic variation that
occurs when a new population is established by a very small number of
individuals from a larger population. It was first fully outlined by Ernst Mayr in 1942, using existing theoretical work by
those such as Sewall Wright. As a result of the loss of genetic
variation, the new population may be distinctively different, both genotypically and phenotypically,
from the parent population from which it is derived. In extreme cases, the
founder effect is thought to lead to the speciation and subsequent evolution of new species.