Current Lab Members

Current Lab Members:

Weider Lab 2020-2021 Academic Year (properly social-distanced on steps of Sutton Hall). From top (clockwise): Larry Weider, Asa Candler, Angela Jarjoura, Matt Wersebe,
Kaylee Gibbons, Tara Curb, Emily Kiehnau



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.  For more information about Emily, please visit her personal website. Link 

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

Matt is currently in 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.  For more information about Matt, please visit his personal website. Link

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 finished 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.  He has started his research project and  is collaborating with Matt Wersebe on examining phototactic behavioral differences among Daphnia pulicaria clones in the presence/absence of fish kairomone components (i.e., bile salts).  His clones were isolated from a high salinity lake (Tanners Lake) located in Oakdale, MN, and show differences in hemoglobin production.  Asa is testing whether these clones may show differences in phototaxis that may indicate differential vertical habitat partitioning in the water column of this lake.  Any differences detected may also indicate differential vulnerability to fish predators.

Tara Curb (U. of Oklahoma) 2020-2021

Tara joined our lab in Fall 2020 to conduct Independent Research.  She has started her research and is currently collaborating with Matt Wersebe on salinity tolerance differences among different resurrected clones of Daphnia pulicaria from Tanners Lake.   Clones were resurrected from sediment layers that span a time period of increasing salinization.  She is examining both LC50 and juvenile growth rate measurements to determine differential fitness correlates related to salinity tolerance.


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 is currently designing an experiment, which will examine the impact of UV-radiation on the hatching success of resting eggs (i.e., ephippial eggs) from Arctic clones of the Daphnia pulex complex that differ in melanin production.