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.

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Sarah Fitzpatrick’s paper on the genomic and fitness consequences of genetic rescue published in Current Biology!

Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) (Photo: Chris Funk)

Although gene flow may limit adaptation, it can also rescue small, inbred populations. Sarah Fitzpatrick–former Funk lab PhD student and current Assistant Professor at Michigan State University–led our paper just out in Current Biology documenting genetic rescue in wild populations of Trinidadian guppies. Combining wild pedigrees, mark-recapture data, and genomics, we find that gene flow from an adaptively divergent source population increases population growth rates without completely swamping locally adaptive alleles. Our results add to a growing body of literature showing that genetic rescue can be an effective strategy for increasing sizes and preventing extinction of small, isolated populations.

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