Jennifer Fenner, Ph.D.


Broadly, I am interested in understanding how the contributions from genetic and environmental interactions shape and generate novel variation. I am interested in questions about the evolution of plasticity and robustness during development. Incorporating an integrative Eco Evo Devo approach my PhD research focused on understanding the roles of genetic and environmental interactions on the generation of butterfly wing color pattern variation both within and between species in the Dogface butterfly. My research spanned a variety of techniques from classical conditional rearing experiments to transcriptomics to CRISPR/cas9.


My background has focused mainly on evolution and ecology, but during my PhD I was most passionate about the functional aspects of my studies. I have recently joined the Range lab in order to gain both the skills and perspective of a developmental biologist and am excited to strengthen the Devo side of my Evo Devo studies.  

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Fenner J, Benson C, Rodriguez F, Ren A, Papa R, Hoffman F, Range RC, Counterman BA. “Wnt genes in wing pattern development of Coliadinae butterflies”. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2020). In press.


Concha, C., Wallbank, R. W., Hanly, J. J., Fenner, J., Livraghi, L., Rivera, E. S., ... & Morrison, C. (2019). Interplay between developmental flexibility and determinism in the evolution of mimetic Heliconius wing patterns. Current Biology, 29(23), 3996-4009.

Rodriguez-Caro, L., Fenner, J., Benson, C., Van Belleghem, S. M., & Counterman, B. A. (2020). Genome assembly of the dogface butterfly Zerene cesonia. Genome biology and evolution, 12(1), 3580-3585.

Fenner, J. (2019). How the Dogface got its color: How genetics and the environment influence color variation within and between species in the Zerene butterfly (Doctoral dissertation, Biological Sciences).

Fenner, J., Rodriguez-Caro, L., & Counterman, B. (2019). Plasticity and divergence in ultraviolet reflecting structures on Dogface butterfly wings. Arthropod structure & development, 51, 14-22.


Fenner, J., Schartel, T., & Counterman, B. (2018). Lessons from Butterflies of the Black Belt Prairie: The Southern Dogface as an Indicator of Prairie Remnants. Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 144(2), 295-308.


Fenner, J., Seltzer, J., Peyton, S., Sullivan, H., Tolson, P., Walsh, R. P., ... & Counterman, B. A. (2017). Demographic variation of Wolbachia infection in the endangered Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly. Insects, 8(2), 50.

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