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About Urban Nature

About the Host

Marcus Kronforst, PhD, is the Neubauer Family Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago. He is a prominent researcher in the field of evolutionary biology, where his work focuses on wing pattern mimicry in butterflies.

Kronforst’s research addresses fundamental biological questions using modern approaches that are highly integrative – spanning genomics, molecular and developmental biology, animal behavior, and evolutionary theory. This innovative, multilayered analytical approach has led to a number of recent key discoveries, from identifying the specific mutations responsible for wing pattern adaptations in boldly colored tropical butterflies to mapping genomic changes associated with the origin of new species.

Kronforst has published his scientific research in an array of highly influential journals, including Nature, Science, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences USA, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Genetics, and Genome Biology, among others. He has been named a Pew Biomedical Research Scholar and he is the recent recipient of both an NSF CAREER award and an NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity grant, along with a 2016 Distinguished Faculty Award from the University of Chicago.

Kronforst earned his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Miami in 1998. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he held a five-year Bauer Fellowship at Harvard University’s FAS Center for Systems Biology. Kronforst joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2012.


Dan Protess

Marcus Kronforst

Tim Boyd

Paul Thornton

Associate Producer
Sean Keenehan

Graphic Design
Reed Marvine

Art Director
Linda Fox

Original Score
Steve Mullen

Website Design
Jenny Macchione

Website Development
Grant Smith
Kevin Crowley

Nadia Vargas

Executive Producer
Anne Gleason