Skip Navigation
Increase font size
Decrease font size

Karin Pfennig

Associate Professor
& Associate Chair of Biology

Contact Information

Office: 319 Wilson Hall
Email: kpfennig[at]
Office Phone: (919) 843-5590
Lab Phone: (919) 843-5593

Pfennig Lab Website

At a Glance

Environment-dependent behavior, Hybridization, Mating behavior evolution, Sexual selection, and Speciation.


The overarching goal of my research is to understand how behavior facilitates population and evolutionary diversification. Because mate choice is a potent selective force that can be critical in the formation of novel phenotypes and new species, I focus on the evolution of mating behavior and its role in ecological and evolutionary processes.

In particular, I seek to understand why individuals choose the mates they do and evaluate how individual mate choice decisions promote trait divergence within and between species. In addressing these issues, I examine the selective dynamics affecting the evolution of mating behaviors in hybrid zones and the role mating behavior plays in the speciation process.

For more details, including references, please go to my main lab website.