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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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 […]

Funk lab and colleagues publish new paper on the exciting potential and remaining uncertainties of genetic rescue

Genetic rescue has been used as a management strategy to increase population sizes of mountain pygmy possums (Photo: Andrew Weeks)

Theory and data show that genetic rescue–a decrease in extinction probability due to gene flow–is an effective management tool for small, isolated populations. Despite this, genetic rescue is rarely used to boost […]

Collaborative research on genetic rescue featured in Science magazine!

Trinidadian guppy pair. Photo credit: Paul Bentzen.

Our collaborative research on genetic rescue was featured in Science magazine. Former Funk Lab PhD student, Dr. Sarah Fitzpatrick (now an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University), was featured prominently in the article written by Elizabeth Pennisi. Sarah talked about our latest research using guppies […]

Congratulations to Brenna Forester for co-authoring a paper published in PNAS!!

Myotis escalerai in flight in Soria, Spain (photo credit: Daniel Fernandez Alonso)

Forecasts of species vulnerability and extinction risk under future climate change commonly ignore local adaptations despite their importance for determining the potential of populations to respond to future changes. In a paper recently published in PNAS, Dr. Orly Razgour, leading […]

Amanda Cicchino gets a paper from her Master’s accepted to Behavioral Ecology!

Pseudacris crucifer, the Spring Peeper (Photo credit: Nick Cairn)

In this paper, Amanda and her coauthors show that arboreal calling behavior is subject to environmentally-mediated tradeoffs across the [vast] range of the spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer. The authors show that these frogs experience a benefit when calling arboreally both in terms of […]

Fitz and Funk publish a new book chapter on “Genomics for Genetic Rescue”!

Hypothetical scenario of a fragmented species that would likely benefit from gene flow augmentation (A) in which a species from a previously continuous distribution (outlined in grey) now exists in isolated populations (black circles) along an environmental gradient. Several small populations outlined by red dashes have already gone extinct. Extant populations range […]

Amphibiomics, unveiled!

Genome sizes for different orders of amphibians. Y-axis is on a natural log scale and reports C-values in picograms (pg), where 1 pg = 978 megabases of DNA sequence.

Kelly Zamudio, Andrew Crawford, and Chris’ book chapter on the application of new genomic approaches for advancing understanding of the evolution, ecology, and […]

Funk Lab publishes PNAS paper on the causes of megadiversity in tropical mountains!

EvoTRAC field crew during stream “bioblitz” of the remote Oyacachi basin, Ecuador, way back in 2012.

Tropical mountains are the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems of the world, but the causes of this exceptional species richness have eluded biologists for centuries. In 1967, Dan Janzen postulated that reduced temperature seasonality in the tropics […]

Paper on the comparative landscape genetics of spotted frogs published in Molecular Ecology!

Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) in amplexus (mating embrace) with egg clutch visible. Photo credit: W. Chris Funk

Our paper on the comparative landscape genetics of Oregon spotted frogs and Columbia spotted frogs in Oregon and Idaho has been published in Molecular Ecology! Our main finding was that species traits matter for […]

Chris, Brenna, and colleagues publish new paper on integrating adaptive potential into the U.S. Endangered Species Act

Chris, Brenna Forester, and colleagues published a new paper on integrating adaptive potential into U.S. Endangered Species Act listing and recovery decisions. Rapid environmental change means that populations will often have to adapt, or go extinct. Characterizing adaptive potential using traditional approaches such as reciprocal transplant experiments, however, is often impossible for endangered species. […]