Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members:


Weider Lab Fall 2020: Clockwise from top (L.J. Weider, Asa Candler, Matt Wersebe, Kaylee Gibbons, Tara Curb, Emily Kiehnau) – socially-distanced on the steps of Sutton Hall
Weider Lab Fall 2020 – L-R: Tara Curb, Emily Kiehnau, Kaylee Gibbons, L.J. Weider, Asa Candler, Matt Wersebe – properly attired with Daphnia-themed face masks

Current Graduate Students:

Emily Kiehnau (B.A., Lawrence University)  2015-present

Emily is currently in her final year of her Ph.D. work in our lab and is slated to defend her dissertation in spring 2021.  For the past several years, she has been exploring predator-prey interactions between native North American Daphnia and the introduced, exotic predaceous cladoceran, Bythotrephes longimanus.  She has been taking an integrated approach to studying how these native daphniids respond to chemical (kairomones) from Bythotrephes, by altering their behavioral and morphological traits.  After completing her dissertation, she hopes to land a position where she can use her scientific skills to inform science & public policy.

Matthew Wersebe (B.S. SUNY-Binghamton)  2018-present

Matt is currently starting his 3rd year in our Ph.D. program and is focusing his dissertation research on the environmental genomics of salinity tolerance in Daphnia pulicaria in a set of urban lakes in the Twin Cities (MN), which have been impacted by the increasing use of road (de-icing) salts.  His work includes taking a “resurrection ecology” approach to examining ecological and evolutionary responses of these D. pulicaria populations across a time-and-space gradient.

Current Undergraduate Students:

Kaylee Gibbons (U. of Okahoma):  2019-2020

Kaylee has been in our lab since fall 2019, and for her Independent Study project, she has been examining the impact of temperature on a polyploid-diploid assemblage of Daphnia pulex complex clones isolated from rockpools in sub-Arctic Canada (Churchill, Manitoba).  She has been examining life-history shifts that occur among these obligately-parthenogenetic clones, which will provide us more information on the impacts of climate change on these vulnerable sub-Arctic/Arctic aquatic systems.  She is slated to finish her project in December 2020.

Asa Candler (U. of Oklahoma, Honors Program) 2020-2021

Asa joined the lab in Fall 2020 to begin his Honors Reading and Research.  Although still quite early in his research program, he is interested in the phenomenon of Diel Vertical Migration (DVM) in zooplankton.  He is beginning to delve into the literature to begin to formulate his research proposal.

Tara Curb (U. of Oklahoma) 2020-2021

Tara joined our lab in Fall 2020 to conduct Independent Research.  She, too, is very early in the planning stages for her research program.  However, she is currently interested in collaborating with Matt Wersebe on certain aspects of the salinity tolerance/environmental work and impact of road salt on Daphnia growth rates and fitness.


Angela Jarjoura (U. of Oklahoma Honors Program) 2021-2022

Angela is the newest member of our lab group, who joined us in January 2021.  She will be conducting her Honors Research – project TBD.