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 between 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 activiely recruiting UTK undergraduate students to join the lab to work on research projects focusing on moss parent-offspring conflict. This includes the potential for skill bulding in histology, morphological data collection, molecular systematics, and fieldwork. If our lab seems like it might be a good fit for you, please send an email expressing your interest with your CV/resume and unofficial transcripts attached to Dr. Jessica Budke jbudke@utk.edu

Unfortunately we are not recruiting graduate students for the December 2023 application deadline.
Please check back for open positions in fall 2024.

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.