Current Lab Members


Weider Lab Fall 2019: back row (l-r) Larry Weider, Amber Woolley, Ekene Nwakoby; front row (l-r) Emily Kiehnau, Matt Wersebe, Kaylee Gibbons, Julie Agadagba


Current Graduate Students:

2015-       Emily Kiehnau (B.S. Lawrence University 2015; current Ph.D. student)

Emily Kiehnau holding a Glew gravity corer for sampling sediments in the Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, Canada  July 2016.

Emily’s research focuses on quantifying the plastic and evolutionary responses of native species to exotic introduced species and on identifying how these responses influence community level processes. She has been studying the exotic introduced zooplanktivore, Bythotrephes longimanus (a.k.a. spiny waterflea).  This species is a threat to pelagic biodiversity of North American lakes because of its heavy predation on native zooplankton, particularly Daphnia. Of the many Daphnia species found in North American lakes, only D. mendotae appears to thrive in the presence of B. longimanus. Emily’s research centers around identifying the antipredator response of Daphnia species to Bythotrephes via a variety of behavioral and morphological kairomone (i.e., chemical cue) studies conducted on pre- and post-invasion Daphnia populations.


2018-        Matt Wersebe (B.S. SUNY-Binghamton 2018; current Ph.D. student)

Matt joined the lab in July 2018, and is beginning to develop his dissertation research plans, which will center on using resurrection ecology to study the effects of man-made salinization (i.e., road salt) on phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary trajectories of Daphnia pulicaria populations from lakes in Minnesota.  For more information, please visit Matt’s personal website at this Link

Current Undergraduate Students:

2018-2020 Ekene Nwakoby (B.S. Honors, U. of Oklahoma)

Ekene joined the lab in fall 2018.  Her Honors Research project has focused on F1 hybrid clones of Daphnia pulicaria that are the products of crossing a “modern” (i.e., decade-old “dam”) clone with an “ancient” (i.e., centuries-old “sire”) clone from South Center (SC) Lake in Minnesota.  She examined physiological and life-history characteristics of this “clonal triad” when exposed to both high-quality (high P) and low-quality (low P) food, and varying food concentrations.  Ekene successfully defended her Honors Thesis in December 2019, and will present her findings at the Annual OU Undergraduate Research Day in spring 2020.


2019-2020 Juliet Agadagba (B.S., U. of Oklahoma)

Juliet joined the lab in August 2019 to begin an Independent Study project.  Using a “resurrection ecology” approach, she is examining genetic (clonal) differences in pH tolerance in a Daphnia pulicaria population from South Center (SC) Lake (MN) that has undergone rapid environmental changes over the past century or more.


2019-2020 Kaylee Gibbons (B.S., U. of Oklahoma)

Kaylee joined the lab in August 2019 to begin an Independent Study Project.  She is examining the impact of climate change (i.e., temperature shifts) on the reproductive dynamics of members of the arctic Daphnia pulex complex from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.


2019-2020  Amber Woolley (B.S., U. of Oklahoma)

Amber joined the lab in August 2019 to begin an Independent Study project.  She is examining the impact of endocrine-disruptors (i.e., estrogen-like hormones) on the life-histories/reproductive dynamics of resurrected clones of Daphnia pulicaria (spanning decades/centuries), and their hybrids.