Karin Pfennig is a behavioral and evolutionary ecologist who blends field and laboratory work to understand sexual selection, the evolution of mate choice and their roles in hybridization, species boundaries, and the origins of new species. A list of Karin’s publications is here. Her full CV is here.


Current Graduate Students

Gina Calabrese is interested in examining how traits evolve in variable environments. She is currently evaluating whether facultative hybridization behavior evolves via lineage sorting versus parallel evolution across different populations.

Catherine Chen studies hybrid behavior and the role it plays in gene flow between species, as well as the significance of multimodal signaling.

Sofia De La Serna Buzon is interested in the underlying physiology of condition-dependent behavior. Sofi’s work is aimed at determining how female condition impacts their mate choice and reproductive investment in variable environments.

Audrey Kelly studies the factors that generate variation in gene flow between species at both local and regional scales.  She incorporates genetic approaches with ecological and behavior information.

Rebecca O’Brien is evaluating how the risk of hybridization contributes to the divergence and diversification of male signals.


Postdoctoral Scholars

Amanda Pierce comes to our lab from the Jaap de Roode’s lab at Emory University. Amanda is evaluating the role of hybridization in range expansion.

Spencer Ingley comes to our lab from Jerald Johnson’s lab at Brigham Young University. Spencer’s research is focused on behavior and speciation.


Collaborators and Colleagues

We are fortunate to have a number of close colleagues and members of their labs with whom we collaborate, ask for advice, and just have fun talking science:

Dr. Sabrina Burmeister, UNC

Dr. Ian Ehrenreich, USC

Dr. Corbin Jones, UNC

Dr. Ryan Martin, Case Western Reserve U.

Dr. Mohamed Noor, Duke U.

Dr. David Pfennig, UNC

Dr. Amber Rice, Lehigh U.

Dr. Bryan Stuart, NC Museum of Natural Sciences & UNC