Welcome to the Funk Lab

We strive to understand the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity using population genomics, experimental manipulations, and field studies. Our goal is to not only test basic evolutionary and ecological theory, but also directly inform policy and management decisions that will ultimately determine the fate of biodiversity.

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Alisha Shah awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant!!!

For her PhD work, Alisha has explored the effect of temperature in setting the range limits of temperate and tropical aquatic insects. So far, she has found that temperate insects that experience wide seasonal fluctuations in temperature typically have broader thermal breadths and can remain active over a wider range of temperatures. On the other hand, tropical insects generally have narrower thermal tolerances and perform poorly outside their range of preferred temperatures. These results are extremely exciting as a first step! However, species do not exist in isolation, but rather in communities. Alisha’s DDIG research will build on the data she has collected by investigating the influence of temperature on species interactions and the combined effect of temperature and competition/predation on determining species range limits. This work will hopefully serve to broaden and deepen our understanding of local and global patterns of biodiversity.

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