Principal Investigator

Diana Rennison

Diana is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego. 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 will be working on eco-evolution projects involving the gut microbiota and visual system of threespine stickleback, both by studying natural populations and by performing controlled experiments in the lab. 

Link to Andi’s website

Elizabeth Tapanes

Liz is joining the lab as a PostDoc in August 2021. She undertook her Ph.D at George Washington University in 2021. Much of her work focused on the evolutionary genomics phenotype-genotype interactions, and evolution of hair in diademed sifaka lemurs. At UCSD Liz will be working on the genomic basis of adaptation of marine and freshwater stickleback.

Graduate Students

David Ferranti – David is a Ph.D student starting Fall 2021.

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.

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

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

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