People

Marcus R. Kronforst, PhD

We study adaptation and speciation, with a special focus on the genetic basis of wing pattern mimicry in butterflies. Other topics of study in the lab include mate preference evolution in butterflies, monarch butterfly migration, and poison dart frog color patterning. Our work is highly integrative, spanning genomics, population genetics, molecular and developmental biology, animal behavior, and field work.

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Bauer Fellow - Systems Biology
2012

University of Texas
Austin, Texas
post-doc - Evolutionary Biology
2007

University of Texas
Austin, Texas
Ph.D. - Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
2004

University of Miami
Miami, Florida
B.S. - Biology
1998

Divergence, gene flow, and the origin of leapfrog geographic distributions: The history of colour pattern variation in Phyllobates poison-dart frogs.
Márquez R, Linderoth TP, Mejía-Vargas D, Nielsen R, Amézquita A, Kronforst MR. Divergence, gene flow, and the origin of leapfrog geographic distributions: The history of colour pattern variation in Phyllobates poison-dart frogs. Mol Ecol. 2020 Aug 19.
PMID: 32814358

Migration behaviour of commercial monarchs reared outdoors and wild-derived monarchs reared indoors.
Tenger-Trolander A, Kronforst MR. Migration behaviour of commercial monarchs reared outdoors and wild-derived monarchs reared indoors. Proc Biol Sci. 2020 08 12; 287(1932):20201326.
PMID: 32752991

Genomic evidence for gene flow between monarchs with divergent migratory phenotypes and flight performance.
Talla V, Pierce AA, Adams KL, de Man TJB, Nallu S, Villablanca FX, Kronforst MR, de Roode JC. Genomic evidence for gene flow between monarchs with divergent migratory phenotypes and flight performance. Mol Ecol. 2020 07; 29(14):2567-2582.
PMID: 32542770

The roles of hybridization and habitat fragmentation in the evolution of Brazil's enigmatic longwing butterflies, Heliconius nattereri and H. hermathena.
Massardo D, VanKuren NW, Nallu S, Ramos RR, Ribeiro PG, Silva-Brandão KL, Brandão MM, Lion MB, Freitas AVL, Cardoso MZ, Kronforst MR. The roles of hybridization and habitat fragmentation in the evolution of Brazil's enigmatic longwing butterflies, Heliconius nattereri and H. hermathena. BMC Biol. 2020 07 03; 18(1):84.
PMID: 32620168

Disentangling Population History and Character Evolution among Hybridizing Lineages.
Mullen SP, VanKuren NW, Zhang W, Nallu S, Kristiansen EB, Wuyun Q, Liu K, Hill RI, Briscoe AD, Kronforst MR. Disentangling Population History and Character Evolution among Hybridizing Lineages. Mol Biol Evol. 2020 05 01; 37(5):1295-1305.
PMID: 31930401

A shared genetic basis of mimicry across swallowtail butterflies points to ancestral co-option of doublesex.
Palmer DH, Kronforst MR. A shared genetic basis of mimicry across swallowtail butterflies points to ancestral co-option of doublesex. Nat Commun. 2020 01 03; 11(1):6.
PMID: 31900419

Butterfly Mimicry Polymorphisms Highlight Phylogenetic Limits of Gene Reuse in the Evolution of Diverse Adaptations.
VanKuren NW, Massardo D, Nallu S, Kronforst MR. Butterfly Mimicry Polymorphisms Highlight Phylogenetic Limits of Gene Reuse in the Evolution of Diverse Adaptations. Mol Biol Evol. 2019 12 01; 36(12):2842-2853.
PMID: 31504750

Genomic architecture and introgression shape a butterfly radiation.
Edelman NB, Frandsen PB, Miyagi M, Clavijo B, Davey J, Dikow RB, García-Accinelli G, Van Belleghem SM, Patterson N, Neafsey DE, Challis R, Kumar S, Moreira GRP, Salazar C, Chouteau M, Counterman BA, Papa R, Blaxter M, Reed RD, Dasmahapatra KK, Kronforst M, Joron M, Jiggins CD, McMillan WO, Di Palma F, Blumberg AJ, Wakeley J, Jaffe D, Mallet J. Genomic architecture and introgression shape a butterfly radiation. Science. 2019 11 01; 366(6465):594-599.
PMID: 31672890

Comparative Transcriptomics Provides Insights into Reticulate and Adaptive Evolution of a Butterfly Radiation.
Zhang W, Leon-Ricardo BX, van Schooten B, Van Belleghem SM, Counterman BA, McMillan WO, Kronforst MR, Papa R. Comparative Transcriptomics Provides Insights into Reticulate and Adaptive Evolution of a Butterfly Radiation. Genome Biol Evol. 2019 10 01; 11(10):2963-2975.
PMID: 31518398

Monarch butterflies use an environmentally sensitive, internal timer to control overwintering dynamics.
Green DA, Kronforst MR. Monarch butterflies use an environmentally sensitive, internal timer to control overwintering dynamics. Mol Ecol. 2019 08; 28(16):3642-3655.
PMID: 31338928

View All Publications

Biological Sciences Division Distinguished Investigator Award
University of Chicago
2016

NSF CAREER Award
University of Chicago
2015

Pew Biomedical Scholar
University of Chicago
2015 - 2020

Neubauer Family Endowed Assistant Professorship
University of Chicago
2012 - 2017

Bauer Fellows Program
Harvard University
2007 - 2012

NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant
2002

Summa cum laude
University of Miami
1998

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
University of Miami
1997