Welcome to the Funk Lab

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



Sarah Fitzpatrick’s manuscript on the causes of a life history anomaly in Trinidadian guppies accepted for publication in The American Naturalist!

Guppies swimmingTrinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) Conducting monthly mark-recapture surveys on thousands of guppies in two streams in Trinidad allowed the Sarah Fitzpatrick and coauthors to compare mortality levels between neighboring populations that were previously found to differ in life history pattern. Both sites were free of guppy predators, the force that typically drives differences in life history. Yet, Sarah found much higher mortality in the stream with the non-parallel life history pattern, making this study one of the first to show that mortality other than predation can shape guppy evolution in the wild. This research is part of our guppy gene flow project.

Citation: Fitzpatrick, S.W., J.Torres-Dowdall, D.N. Reznick, C.K. Ghalambor, W.C. Funk (in press). Parallelism isn’t perfect: could disease and flooding drive a life history anomaly in Trinidadian guppies? American Naturalist

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