Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies/Biology
Diana Weber's research interests are on the effects of increasing physiological and environment stress on wild populations, and the effects of reduced variability and severe reductions in population sizes (‘bottlenecks’) in animals. In particular, she is interested in selection pressures on the immune system in species from extreme environments. She previously received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs to study the genetic diversity of a portion of the immune system in Arctic marine and terrestrial mammals. In 2005, she was a guest scientist on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s humpback whale photo-identification and biopsy cruise in the Bering Sea.
Professor Weber studied in the master’s program at California State University, Long Beach in biological sciences/marine biology before transferring to the University at Albany, SUNY where she earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences and taught Marine Biology and Biology of Marine Mammals. She has been awarded numerous research awards, including two from the National Science Foundation. In 2008, she won the University at Albany’s Paul C. Lemon Award for her thesis contribution to the “understanding of the ecological and environmental problems, inter-relationships and challenges in man’s natural world.” Weber believes it is important to properly train and mentor the next generation of scientists and conservationists and has made it her core philosophy since she finished her Ph.D.
Weber Diana S. (2009). Genetic diversity and population persistence: the path to survival or extinction. Book Review: Evolutionary Conservation Genetics. Ecology, in press.
Leslie MS, Batibasaga A, Weber DS, Olsen D, Rosenbaum HC. (2005). First record of Blainville's beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris in Fiji. Pacific Conservation Biology 11(4):302-305.
Weber Diana S, Brent S Stewart, John Schienman, and Niles Lehman. (2004). Major histocompatibility complex variation at three class II loci in the northern elephant seal. Molecular Ecology, 13(3):711-718.
Weber Diana S, Brent S Stewart, and Niles Lehman. (2004). Genetic consequences of a severe population bottleneck in the Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi). J. Heredity 95(2):144-153.
Weber DS, BS Stewart, JC Garza, and N Lehman. (2000). An empirical genetic assessment of the severity of the northern elephant seal population bottleneck. Current Biology 10(20):1287-1290.