Principal Investigator

Diana Rennison

Diana has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego since 2019. Diana completed her M.Sc. at the University of Victoria in 2010, where she worked on opsin gene duplication and divergence in Poeciliid fish. In 2016 she completed her Ph.D at the University of British Columbia, where she studied the genetic basis of adaptation in the threespine stickleback to predation and other sources of divergent selection. For her postdoctoral work she took up a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship at the University of Bern; during this time Diana studied parallel genomic differentiation and genetic sources of evolutionary constraint.

Diana’s CV and Google Scholar profile.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Andreas Härer

Andi joined the lab as a PostDoc in February 2020. He finished his Ph.D. at the University of Konstanz, Germany in 2018, followed by a one-year PostDoc. He mainly studied the visual system and gut microbiota of Neotropical cichlids to better understand how organisms adapt to different environments. Particularly, he is interested in how much of the phenotypic variation is environmentally induced (phenotypic plasticity) or genetically determined (adaptive evolution) and to what extent phenotypic change in response to shared environmental conditions can be predicted (parallel evolution). At UCSD, Andi has been working on eco-evolutionary projects involving the gut microbiota of threespine stickleback. His work combines studies of natural populations with controlled laboratory experiments. 

Link to Andi’s website

Elizabeth Tapanes

Liz is joined the lab as a PostDoc in August 2021. She undertook her Ph.D at George Washington University in 2021. Much of her prior work focused on the evolutionary genomics phenotype-genotype interactions, and evolution of hair in diademed sifaka lemurs. At UCSD Liz is exploring pigmentation and the use of standing genetic variation during freshwater adaptation.

Graduate Students

David Ferranti

David joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in the fall of 2021.  He previously studied marine invertebrate phylogeography and green algae phylogenetics.  David is interested in the importance of standing genetic variation in promoting adaptive evolution and how marine stickleback demography influences the colonization of freshwater habitats.

Emma Kurstjens – Emma is a M.Sc. student in the group. She is studying factors that affect gut microbiome diversity in wild stickleback.

Christina Puzzanghera

Christina is a M.Sc student in the group. She is studying the effect of predation on sexual dimorphism.

Brandon Tsai – Correlated evolution of suites of traits in lab reared fish.

Laura Varey – Laura is a M.Sc. student in the group. She is looking at differential selection on lateral plates.

Caitlin Wise

Caitlin is a Ph.D student that joined the lab in September 2021. Caitlin is interested in the genetic basic of adaption across environmental gradients.
In the lab, she integrates field work, lab experiments, and genomics to understand
the selective landscape imposed by both biotic and abiotic factors to predict
evolutionary responses under projected future climate scenarios. Such work allows
us to assess population genome health and inform conservation strategies across
changing environmental landscapes.

Undergraduate Students

Denise Meier – Parallel phenotypic evolution of benthic and limnetic stickleback

Mia Tonkin – Phenotypic changes associated with variation in gut microbiota.

%d bloggers like this: