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Principal Investigator

Jesse Weber

Dr. Weber works on the genetic basis of complex, ecologically relevant traits. His areas of expertise are molecular genetics, quantitative and populations genetics, ecoimmunology, and behavioral ecology. While the Weber Lab predominantly works on stickleback fishes and deer mice (Genus Peromyscus), we are excited to tackle questions about adaptation genetics using whichever organism is best suited to the experiments.

Outside of professional science, Jesse's hobbies are:

  • Hiking and backpacking, especially in mountains and canyons

  • Following Colorado sports teams and playing basketball and softball

  • BBQing all sorts of things (low, slow, and smoked!)

Graduate Students:

Vanessa Muhlenbruch

Vanessa is starting her graduate work in Fall 2019. She received her undergrad degree from UAA, and then performed an internship with ADF&G and USGS working on bear management. Her MS thesis will inolve a genetic analysis of black bears in the Anchorage area. Her goal is to use forensic sampling to understand which individuals are responsible for negative human interactions, and how those "nuisance" animals are related to each other. Her work is funded by the Alaskan Native Science and Engineering Program and the AK Army Corps of Engineers, and is being performed in collaboration with Dr. Sean Farley at ADF&G, and Dr. Sandy Talbot at USGS.

Trey Sasser

Trey started working in the lab during summer 2019, and participated in field projects both in Alaska and on Vancouver Island. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Montana and received the University's prestigious Leadership Scholarship. His undergrad research focused on understanding how deer mice adapt to life at high altitudes, and he still has a passion for small mammal work. However, for the near term Trey will examine the energetic tradeoffs associated with the evolution of parasite resistance by sticklebacks. The Dept of Biological Sciences awarded him a competitive, 4-semester Recruiting TA-ship to support his MS work.

Max Reynolds

Bryce joined the lab in Fall 2018 as one of the first group of parasite wranglers! Initially, he helped collect and breed fish and tapeworms from several locations around Anchorage. Subsequently, Bryce has been building up his molecular and robotics skillsets by making DNA sequencing libraries from all the tapeworms he collected, as well as hundreds of worms collected from many sites in the Pacific Northwest. He is starting in the MS program at UW-Madison in Fall 2021.


Dan Bolnick -- University of Connecticut

Doug Emlen -- University of Montana

Hopi Hoekstra -- Harvard University

Kat Milligan-Myhre -- University of Connecticut

Natalie Steinel -- University of Massachusetts, Lowell 

Yoel Stuart -- Loyola University, Chicago

Bryce Solin

Max joined the lab in Summer 2021 and is starting in the MS program at UW-Madison in Fall 2021. More info coming soon.

Emily Kerns

Emily joined the lab in Summer 2021 and is starting in the PhD program at UW-Madison in Fall 2021. More info coming soon.

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