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
  • April 04, 2022

    Congratulations to Paula Fernandez-Begne for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!

  • April 01, 2022

    The lab is happy to welcome Rachel Moran, a Chicago Fellow studying genomics and speciation of darter fish.

  • March 01, 2022

    Congratulations to Erick Bayala on his successful Ph.D. thesis defense! His dissertation is entitled “How to paint a butterfly? Developmental insights into Heliconius embryology, color patterning, and pigmentation.”