Daniel J. Funk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
My research has been varied but has focused on the ecology and evolution of herbivorous insects. My most central interest is ecological speciation, that is, how it is that divergent adaptation to alternative environments promotes reproductive isolation and population differentiation. Complementing this is work on the reasons for ecological specialization itself, a phenomenon that typifies insect herbivores. Approaches to these questions have been molecular genetic, population genetic, phylogenetic, and experimental (in lab and greenhouse), and abundant field work has been foundational for these studies. Of special interest has been Neochlamisus leaf beetles, a North American genus of host specialists that I have developed as a model system for ecological speciation studies starting with my dissertation work. I am interested in all aspects of Neochlamisus biology.