Welcome to the Renner Lab!


What do we do?

We explore evolutionary patterns and processes that drive functional diversification. We are particularly interested in how multi-species interactions shape diversity on a genome-wide scale and influence form and function. Our research combines applied molecular biology with next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and phylogenetics. We use plants and insects as models to study adaptation and current projects focus on the evolution of chemical and structural defenses.


Kylie Bocklund will be joining us in July 2018 as our lab manager! Kylie is an alumni of Michigan State University and brings with her expertise in next-generation sequencing.

Katie Nolan will be joining the lab in August 2018 for her Ph.D. studies! Katie completed a Master of Science at Eastern Michigan University in the lab of Dr. Maggie Hanes, where she studied Sarracenia pitcher plant microstructure and comparative morphology.

Chloe Drummond is joining us in August 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher! Chloe is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Dr. Ken Sytsma’s lab and her research has focused on North American disjunct plants. She brings expertise in phylogenomics, phylogeography, and disjunct biogeography. Read more about Chloe’s research interests here.

Adam Rork joined the lab for his Ph.D. studies in August 2017. Adam most recently came from Maryville University, where he studied Amorphophallus titanum floral volatiles with Dr. Kyra Krakos. See an article on his past research here.