Welcome to the Kronforst lab at the University of Chicago’s Department of Ecology & Evolution. We study the molecular genetic basis of organismal diversity, with a special emphasis on butterflies. Our research explores the molecular mechanisms responsible for the evolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation, and we do this in the context of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Major themes of research include color patterning, mating behavior, migration, and host-plant herbivory. We utilize a diversity of methods, spanning genomics, statistical and population genetics, phylogenetics, developmental biology, functional genetics, genome editing and animal behavior.

The Kronforst lab is committed to producing creative, high-impact research; creating a nurturing, inclusive research environment; training the next generation of integrative biologists; and translating our work and insights into practical knowledge for the general public.

News & Updates
  • May 18, 2023

    We’ve published two new papers about how aristaless1 and aristaless2 influence Heliconius butterfly development. Please check them out!

  • February 22, 2023

    Please see our new paper about monarch butterfly phenotypic plasticity.

  • January 17, 2023

    We’ve published a commentary in PNAS about butterfly mimicry evolution. Please take a look at our commentary and the fascinating paper by Basu et al.