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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Maybellene Gamboa lands job as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colorado College!!

Please join me in giving a huge shout out to (soon to be) Dr. Gamboa who will be joining the Department of Organismal Biology & Ecology at Colorado College as a Visiting Assistant Professor starting in the fall 2021 semester!!! Colorado College is a liberal arts college in Colorado Springs that uses the unique Block Program, where students take one class at a time for 3.5 weeks, to create unique learning experiences for undergraduates. Maybellene is excited to advance her pedagogical approaches by mentoring undergraduates and teaching Animal Biology, Ecology, and an upper division course of her choice. Congratulations, Maybellene! The students at Colorado College will be super lucky to have you as a professor.

Rachel Jackson wins 1st place in STEM @ CSU’s Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium (MURALS)!

Last week, Funk lab undergraduate researcher Rachel Jackson presented their proposed NSF REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) project comparing the upper critical thermal limits of the coastal giant salamander and the coastal tailed frog to determine relative physiological vulnerability to future temperatures. As these species represent predator & prey, their vulnerabilities are linked. Rachel will be working with graduate student Amanda Cicchino to collect these data this summer. This research builds off of our collaborative NSF “Rules of Life” grant that has the goal of uncovering spatial patterns of vulnerability to climate change in Pacific Northwest streams using an integrative framework that links environmental heterogeneity to genetic and phenotypic variation in resilience traits.

“Dream Team” submit complete manuscript of “Conservation and the Genomics of Populations” to Oxford University Press!

Chris Funk, Margaret Byrne, Sally Aitken, Fred Allendorf, and Gordon Luikart, July 2019, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.

Fred Allendorf, Sally Aitken, Margaret Byrne, Gordon Luikart, and Chris submitted the complete manuscript for Conservation and the Genomics of Populations, 3rd edition, to Oxford University Press for publication! This “dream team” of conservation geneticists launched this ambitious project in July 2019, and has been working diligently ever since to produce a conservation genetics text that incorporates the latest genomic methods. We sincerely hope that our “opus” will help demystify genetics and genomics for conservation practitioners and early career scientists, so that population genetic theory and new genomic data can help push the bar in conserving biodiversity in the most critical 20 year period in the history of life on Earth.

Daryl Trumbo lands postdoctoral position at Virginia Tech!

Congratulations to Daryl Trumbo for landing a new postdoc in the Mims lab at Virginia Tech! Daryl’s new postdoc focuses on invasive species biology and population genomics. Daryl will help develop a data-driven, landscape model to help managers optimize control of aquatic invasive species (i.e., bullfrogs) and promote the persistence of at-risk native species (i.e., Arizona treefrogs). We will miss Daryl dearly, but wish him the best of luck in this new chapter of his career!

Funk Lab alumnus–John Kronenberger–lands prestigious Conservation Genomics Internship at the National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation!

Congratulations to John Kronenberger – former Master’s student in the Funk and Angeloni labs – for landing a Conservation Genomics Internship through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). John will be working at the National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation, a part of the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, MT. In this varied role, he will be developing qPCR-based environmental DNA (eDNA) assays for the detection of locally rare species. He will also be testing the application of an invasive species “biochip”, which utilizes high-throughput qPCR of environmental samples to simultaneously detect dozens of aquatic invasive species. Sounds like exciting work!

Alisha Shah and colleagues publish paper in Global Change Biology!

Alisha learning to conduct metabolic rate experiments in her first week of grad school

Congratulations to Dr. Alisha Shah–Ghalambor and Funk lab alumna–for the acceptance of her paper in Global Change Biology! Alisha and team tested the climate variability hypothesis by comparing standard metabolic rates in baetid mayflies and perlid stoneflies across elevation and latitude. Mayflies conformed to expectations, but stoneflies did not. Specifically, we found that metabolic rates of tropical mayflies are more sensitive to (change more rapidly with) increasing temperature than temperate mayflies. Higher mortality and behavioral stress in these mayflies provided further support for our conclusions. Stoneflies seemed to show no variation in metabolic rate across elevation and latitude. This may be a result of their evolutionary history, their generally predatory lifestyle, and/or their long-lived aquatic stage. Our exciting results align with other studies of thermal physiology in this system. We concluded that climatic variation plays a role in shaping thermal physiology, but not equally in all species. This may mean that not all tropical species are equally imperiled by climate change. Some may be less affected by warming even if they live in the same habitat and experience the same conditions as more vulnerable species.

Funk lab alumnus Brian Gill lands new postdoc at the University of Arizona!

Congratulations to Funk lab alumnus Dr. Brian Gill who has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Principal Investigator Michael Bogan in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. Brian will work on StreamCLIMES, an NSF funded Macrosystems Biology project with the goal of understanding how drying affects stream ecosystems across the southern half of the United States. He will also work locally in Tucson on the biotic impacts of effluent on stream ecosystems with an emphasis on the Santa Cruz river.

Maybellene Gamboa wins CSU Department of Biology Graduate Student Impact in Teaching and Mentoring Award!

Maybellene Gamboa holding a Channel Islands Song Sparrow.

Congratulations to Maybellene Gamboa–a PhD candidate in the Funk and Ghalambor labs–for being awarded a CSU Department of Biology Graduate Student Impact in Teaching and Mentoring Award! Maybellene earned this award due to her passion for and dedication to undergraduate teaching. She received this for many reasons, chief among them her dedication to making sure that ALL students she teaches have equal access to learning from a top-notch instructor. Another thing that has set Maybellene’s teaching apart is her drive to continually gain new teaching skills and perspectives. Maybellene is in the final push to finish her PhD. Any institutions looking for an up-and-coming teaching star should snap her up as soon as they can. Congrats Maybellene!

Amanda Cicchino scores big, winning multiple ecology grants & scholarships!

Amanda Cicchino in the Galápagos islands.

Funk lab PhD student Amanda Cicchino has been awarded two different scholarships/grants this spring to continue her awesome research on tailed frog (Ascaphus spp.) ecophysiology, conservation genomics, and vulnerability to climate change. First, Amanda won a Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE) Small Grant for Graduate Research. Then, the very next week, Amanda won a Dr. Heather M. Rueth Ecology Scholarship by the CSU Department of Biology. Way to go, Amanda!

Rebecca Cheek accepted to the Sustainability Leadership Fellows program!

Rebecca Cheek conducting field work on Island Scrub-jays on Santa Cruz Island, CA.

Congratulations to Funk and Ghalambor lab PhD candidate Rebecca Cheek for being accepted to the Sustainability Leadership Fellows (SLF) program! The SLF program is a competitive program through CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability that accepts 20 advanced PhD students and postdoctoral scholars from across campus each year who are interested in communicating sustainability-related research to broad audiences. Fellows are provided training in network building, strategies for academic engagement in political and public discourse, and techniques to develop leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration skills.