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 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.

Congrats to DR. Gill for successfully defending his PhD!!!

The newly anointed DR. Gill with his co-advisers, Boris Kondratieff and Chris Funk, and committee members, LeRoy Poff and Will Clements.

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Gill for successfully defending his PhD!!!

Congratulations to Miranda Wade for being accepted to grad school!

Congratulations to Funk lab research assistant Miranda Wade for being accepted to graduate school! Miranda will start a MS program in conservation genomics with Dr. Mariah Meek at Michigan State University in Fall 2017.

John Kronenberger’s paper featured in Animal Conservation!

John Kronenberger’s paper on the effects of divergent immigrants on population fitness using guppies as a model system was featured in the recent issue of Animal Conservation, including this beautiful cover image. Three prominent conservation biologists also wrote companion papers discussing John’s results (L. Scott Mills, Catherine Grueber, and David Tallmon), and John wrote a summary response here.

Sarah Fitzpatrick wins 2017 ASN Young Investigator Award!!!

A huge congratulations to Dr. Sarah Fitzpatrick for being awarded the prestigious Young Investigator’s Award from the American Society of Naturalists!!! See the official announcement here and the CSU SOURCE story here.

Future Earth and the Global Biodiversity Center land grant for sustainability science



Congratulations to Josh Tewksbury, director of the Colorado Global Hub of Future Earth, and W. Chris Funk, director of the Global Biodiversity Center at Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, for receiving a $2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to fund sustainability science projects. See the full story here.

Congratulations to Sarah Fitzpatrick for landing tenure-track job!!!

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Fitzpatrick for getting a tenure-track job at Kellogg Biological Station!!! 100% of Funk lab PhD students and postdocs who wanted a career in academia have landed tenure-track jobs (N=5), including Melanie Murphy, Jeanne Robertson, Alex Trillo, and Mónica Páez. Way to go Funklings!!

Congratulations to Maybellene Gamboa for passing her comprehensive exam!

Maybellene Gamboa at the “Santa Cruz Island Institute for Physiological Research” (i.e., conex box)

Maybellene Gamboa, PhD CANDIDATE!!

A huge thanks to the Funk Lab Ascaphus crew!

Alisha Shah led the field crew and shared her Zen mastery of thermal tolerance experiments with them.

A huge thanks to the Funk Lab Ascaphus crew for a tremendous effort and successful field season, sampling and conducting physiological experiments on the coolest frog on planet Earth, the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei and A. montanaus). From June to September 2016, they sampled multiple elevational gradients in northern California, the Oregon Cascades, western Montana, and northern British Columbia as part of a project aimed at understanding variation in physiological tolerance and other traits across elevational and latitudinal gradients, the genomic underpinnings of this variation, and implications for conservation of this iconic Pacific Northwest stream species.

World’s best Ascaphus crew: from left to right, Leighton King, Dalton Oliver, and Jon Suh.

The Funk Lab is recruiting a Postdoc, PhD students, and Undergrads!

Ascaphus habitat, Marten Creek, McKenzie River drainage, Oregon.

Ascaphus habitat, Marten Creek, McKenzie River drainage, Oregon.

The Funk Lab is recruiting highly motivated people with interests at the intersection of conservation genomics, evolutionary ecology, and natural history. Positions are available at the Postdoctoral, PhD, and Undergrad levels. See “Joining the Lab” and Postdoc ad for details.