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, animal behavior, fieldwork and evolutionary theory.

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
  • September 20, 2022

    Please see our new preprint about how doublesex and its interactions generate color pattern mimicry in swallowtail butterflies.

  • September 19, 2022

    The Kronforst Lab was happy to participate in the first annual South Side Science Festival. The festival (including our butterfly tent!) was featured in the Chicago Tribune.

  • June 18, 2022

    We’ve published a new preprint about monarch butterfly phenotypic plasticity. Please check it out!