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’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 […]

Front Range frogs make the cover of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology!

A paper by Chris, Melanie Murphy, Kim Hoke, Erin Muths, Staci Amburgey, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, and Alan Lemmon is featured on the cover of this month’s issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology! Mountains are global centers of biodiversity, but the evolutionary processes generating this incredible diversity are still poorly understood. Pioneering research by […]

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 […]

Brian Gill Awarded NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for the project “Temporal Sampling and DNA Metabarcoding to Test the Climate Variability Hypothesis”

Volcan Antisana, Napo Province, Ecuador (Photo credit: Brian Gill)

Brian Gill and his PhD co-advisors Chris Funk and Boris Kondratieff will use this grant to build on their work estimating elevation range sizes of mountain stream insect taxa in Colorado and Ecuador to test the Climate Variability Hypothesis. In both the Rockies and […]

NSF EEID proposal on the effects of landscape structure and management interventions on mountain lion disease dynamics funded!!!

Puma (Photo by Jesse Lewis)

We’re thrilled to announce that our collaborative NSF EEID (Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases) proposal to investigate the effects of landscape structure and management interventions on mountain lion disease dynamics was funded! Our research team includes Sue VandeWoude (CSU Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology), Kevin Crooks (CSU Fish, […]

NSF RAPID proposal to test the effects of the epic September 2013 floods on stream biodiversity funded!

Drunella doddsi, a Colorado Front Range mayfly species, one of many species that may have been affected by the September 2013 floods in the Colorado Front Range. Our collaborative proposal between CSU (PIs: LeRoy Poff, W. Chris Funk, and Boris Kondratieff) and Cornell University (PI: Alex Flecker) to test the effects of the epic […]