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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Tailed frog landscape phenomics

Coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) tadpole. Photo credit: Amanda Cicchino

One of the most important scientific challenges of the 21st century is predicting the effects of climate change on biodiversity. Although climate change has already negatively impacted biodiversity, our capacity to predict which species and populations are most vulnerable remains poor. The goal of this project is to uncover rules for spatial patterns of vulnerability to climate change using an integrative framework that links environmental heterogeneity to genetic and phenotypic variation in resilience traits, an approach we term landscape phenomics. We will use this framework to test a priori hypotheses regarding relative vulnerability across elevation in coastal tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei) and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs (A. montanus) in the U.S Pacific Northwest. Funk Lab PhD student Amanda Cicchino will lead the physiology and gene flow components of the project, and postdoc Brenna Forester will lead genomic analyses to quantify adaptive potential. Collaborators include Cameron Ghalambor (CSU), Jason Dunham (USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center), and Erin Landguth (University of Montana). Click here to see NSF award abstract.