W. Chris Funk

W. Chris FunkAssociate Professor
Office: Anatomy/Zoology Building E206
Phone: 970-491-3289
Website: http://wp.natsci.colostate.edu/funklab
Education: Ph.D., University of Montana
Curriculum Vitae: Click to View
Email: Chris.Funk@colostate.edu

My research is at the interface of evolution, ecology, genomics, and conservation. In the most general sense, I investigate the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate and maintain biodiversity by combining population genomics, experimental manipulations, and field studies. More specifically, my current research focuses on three fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology related to gene flow, an evolutionary force that plays a central role in the origin and persistence of biodiversity. First, what factors restrict gene flow, thereby causing populations to diverge into distinct, reproductively isolated species? Second, what effect does gene flow have on local adaptation, fitness, and population dynamics? Third, how do real-world landscapes affect patterns and rates of gene flow?

In addition to my interest in basic questions in evolutionary ecology, an important part of my research program applies population genetic concepts and new genomic tools to address conservation questions. Population genetics and genomics are invaluable in conservation and management for the delineation of conservation units, determining patterns of genetic connectivity across landscapes, and assessing the status and viability of threatened species. A major focus of my research program is the application of population genetics and genomics to address critical questions for biodiversity conservation.

Selected Publications

Boul KE, Funk WC (joint first author), Darst CR, Cannatella DC, Ryan MJ (2007) Sexual selection drives speciation in an Amazonian frog. Proceedings of the Royal Society B:  Biological Sciences 274, 399-406.

Funk WC, Forsman ED, Mullins TD, Haig SM (2008) Introgression and dispersal among Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) subspecies. Evolutionary Applications 1, 161-171.

Funk WC, Pearl CA, Draheim HM, Adams MJ, Mullins TD, Haig SM (2008) Range-wide phylogeographic analysis of the spotted frog complex (Rana luteiventris and Rana pretiosa) in northwestern North America. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49, 198-210.

Funk WC, Cannatella DC, Ryan MJ (2009) Genetic divergence is more tightly related to call variation than landscape features in the Amazonian frogs Physalaemus petersi and P. freibergi. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22, 1839-1853.

Funk WC, Forsman ED, Johnson M, Mullins TD, Haig SM (2010) Evidence for recent population bottlenecks in Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina). Conservation Genetics 11, 1013-1021.

Cadena CD, Cheviron ZA, Funk WC (2011) Testing the molecular and evolutionary causes of a ‘leapfrog’ pattern of geographical variation in coloration. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24, 402-414.

Funk WC, Garcia TS, Cortina GA, Hill RH (2011) Population genetics of introduced bullfrogs, Rana (Lithobates) catesbeianus, in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA. Biological Invasions 13, 651-658.

Phillipsen IC, Funk WC, Hoffman E, Monsen K, Blouin M (2011) Comparative analyses of effective population size within and among species: ranid frogs as a case study. Evolution 65, 2927-2945.

Funk WC, Caminer M, Ron SR (2012) High levels of cryptic species diversity uncovered in Amazonian frogs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279, 1806–1814.

Funk WC, McKay JK, Hohenlohe PA, Allendorf FW (2012) Harnessing genomics for delineating conservation units. Trends in Ecology and Evolution27, 489-496.

Trillo PA, Athanas KA, Goldhill DH, Hoke KL, Funk WC (2013) The influence of geographic heterogeneity in predation pressure on sexual signal divergence in an Amazonian frog species complex. Journal of Evolutionary Biology26, 216-222.

Fitzpatrick FW, Torres-Dowdall J, Reznick RN, Ghalambor CK, Funk WC (In Press) Parallelism isn’t perfect: Could disease and flooding drive a life history anomaly in Trinidadian guppies? American Naturalist.