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.



Visitors to Funk Lab


Alisha wins the Ray Huey Award for Best Student Presentation at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting!!!

Alisha presented her DDIG work that addresses why mayfly species ranges are more restricted than we would predict based on thermal breadth alone. Alisha and her colleagues hypothesized that temperature acts synergistically with species interactions, such as predation, to restrict mayfly range expansion. They predicted that as mayflies move to warmer or cooler streams, […]

Alisha Shah’s paper on thermal tolerance in stream insects makes the cover of Functional Ecology!

Citation: Shah A, Gill B, Encalada A, Flecker A, Funk WC, Guayasamin JM, Kondratieff B, Poff N, Thomas S, Zamudio KR, Ghalambor CK (2017) Climate variability predicts thermal limits of aquatic insects across elevation and latitude. Functional Ecology 31, 2118-2127. […]

Alisha Shah’s paper on thermal tolerance in stream insects featured by Functional Ecology!!

Functional Ecology recently accepted a paper by Alisha Shah and other EVOTRAC coauthors and featured it. As predicted by theory, Alisha and her coauthors found that tropical aquatic insects have narrower thermal breadths than their temperate counterparts. Their findings also suggest that lowland tropical insects may be the most vulnerable to climate change compared […]

Eva Bacmeister wins 1st place for talk at Front Range Student Ecology Symposium!

Congratulations to undergrad Eva Bacmeister for winning 1st place for her talk at the 2017 Front Range Student Ecology Symposium held at CSU! Eva’s talk was based on her independent study of how temperature variability shapes the evolution of swimming performance (an important thermal tolerance trait) in temperate and tropical aquatic insects. Her work […]

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 […]

Alisha Shah presents her results on stream insect physiology at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting

Alisha demonstrating her extremely low CTmin.

Alisha and the physiology research crew have found that critical thermal maximum experiments (a method traditionally used to measure the highest temperature an organism can withstand, and widely employed in studies investigating organismal response to climate change) can grossly underestimate vulnerability. Using a variety of measures of […]

Alisha Shah won the College of Natural Sciences Top Scholars Award for ‘Best Poster in Ecology’ at the Graduate Student Showcase on November 11th 2015!

Alisha explaining her results to an onlooker

Alisha presented her finding that tropical mayflies in the Andes have narrow thermal optima, which closely match the range of temperatures they experience in their native streams. But their temperate counterparts in the Rocky Mountains have much broader thermal optima, which appear to match the wider […]

Congrats to Alisha Shah for passing her comprehensive exams!

Alisha Shah, PhD CANDIDATE!!

Alisha Shah finishes her first 6-month field season in Ecuador and Colorado on physiology of stream insects and frogs

Glassfrog (Centrolene bacatum) tadpole in respirometery chamber (photo: J. Fajardo) In 2013, Alisha Shah–a PhD student in the Ghalambor and Funk labs–and her assistants completed their first 6-month field season collecting respirometery data for aquatic insects in the Andes mountains near Papallcta, Ecuador, and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, as part of the […]