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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Ecology and evolution of infectious disease

Metamorphosing marsupial frog (Gastrotheca pseustes) with infected leg. Photo credit: W. Chris Funk

Infectious diseases pose an increasing risk to biodiversity. Humans, agricultural species on which we depend, and wildlife have always lived with disease, but this risk is becoming greater due to exponentially increasing global trade, climate change, and other anthropogenic modifications to the environment. Emerging infectious diseases have already devastated amphibian, bat, and many other populations of wildlife in the last few decades. A major research prong of the Funk Lab is to understand disease transmission dynamics, disease resistance, and interactions among the environment, hosts, and their pathogens to inform conservation management of wildlife species impacted by disease.

Current projects: