W. Chris Funk

Last name: 
Funk
GBC Committee Role: 
Director

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.

Title/Role: 
Associate Professor
Department/Agency: 
Phone: 
970-491-3289
Research Interests (Specific): 
Conservation genomics, evolutionary ecology
Research Projects: 
Project Title: 
EvoTRAC
Project Location: 
Ecuador
Project Location Coordinates: 
-0.600920*,-77.890460*
Project Location Details: 
Napo
Study Species: 
Stream insects, frogs, fish
Project Citations: 

photo credit: Brian Gill

Project Title: 
Guppy gene flow
Project Location: 
Trinidad and Tobago
Project Location Coordinates: 
10.746040*,-61.271454*
Project Location Details: 
Saint George
Study Species: 
Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
Project Citations: 

photo credit: Paul Bentzen

Project Title: 
California Channel Islands conservation genomics and rediscovery
Project Location: 
United States
Project Location Coordinates: 
33.997840*,-119.719810*
Project Location Details: 
California
Study Species: 
Island fox (Urocyon littoralis); Island night lizard (Xantusia riversiana); Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla); Island scrub jay (Aphelocoma insularis); Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Project Citations: 

photo credit: W. Chris Funk