Budke Laboratory

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Evolutionary Developmental Biology | Structure-Function Relationships | Parent-Offspring Conflict | Maternal Effects | Physiology | Systematics | Taxonomy | Botany | Bryology | Natural History Collections | Science Communication

Our research focuses on the development, evolution, and function of plant structures. We study morphological features that are used to distinguish species taxonomically and those that are important for reproduction and fitness. Our research also focuses on the relationship betwen parental gametophytes and their sporophyte offspring. Some of the tools we use to address our research questions are natural history collections, molecular systematic techniques, electron microscopy, and manipulation experiments.

Interested in joining the lab?
We are recruiting a PhD student to work on a US National Science Foundation funded project studying the functional morphology and evolution of the parent-offspring conflict in moss plants!
Applications due Dec 2022 with a start date of Aug 2023. Includes a 3-year Graduate Research Assistantship.
Click here for more information about the project.
To apply for this position please send an email expressing your interest with your CV and unofficial transcripts attached to Dr. Jessica Budke jbudke@utk.edu

Lab Members

Our lab is full of botany enthusiasts who are studing plants from a variety of perspectives to expand our knowlege of the natural world.


Our research focuses on structure-function relationships, morphological evolution, and parent-offspring conflict in plants.


Our classes promote hands-on learning that puts students in direct contact with organisms in the field, laboratory, and natural history collections.


We share our botanical expertise with members of the public during moss/fern walks and behind-the-scenes tours at the herbarium.