David Weisrock

dweis2's picture
  • Professor and Chair
  • Lewis Honors faculty
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Biology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics and Genomics
204 TH Morgan Building
Research Interests:

B.S., Iowa State University
M.S. Iowa State University
Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis


Research in the Weisrock Lab combines genetics, genomics, and evolutionary biology.  Much of our research centers on using genetics to resolve the geographic boundaries of species in nature, reconstruct the relationships among these lineages, and address the mechanisms that have led to their formation.  At the population level our research seeks to understand the adaptive and non-adaptive factors that influence gene flow and drive speciation. At a more macroevolutionary level we use phylogenetic approaches to resolve the evolutionary history of species assemblages and infer the rates at which they form.

Research projects in our lab cover a broad taxonomic range, from speciation in North American Tiger Salamanders, to evolutionary diversification in Malagasy Lemurs.  The advent of genomics has been especially valuable for our research and we increasingly focus our efforts on analytical approaches that permit the summarization of population-genetic and phylogenetic information from across the genome.  As a corallary to this approach, we forge close collaborations with collegues in Statistics to develop new analytical approaches applicable to multi-locus data.

For more information about lab members and their research, visit the Weisrock Lab website.

PubMed Publications*: 
  • Hime, PM ;Lemmon, AR ;Lemmon, ECM ;Prendini, E ;Brown, JM ;Thomson, RC ;Kratovil, JD ;Noonan, BP ;Pyron, RA ;Peloso, PLV ;Kortyna, ML ;Keogh, JS ;Donnellan, SC ;Mueller, RL ;Raxworthy, CJ ;Kunte, K ;Das, S.;Gaitonde, N ;Green, DM ;Labisko, J ;Che, J ;Weisrock, DW "Phylogenomics Reveals Ancient Gene Tree Discordance in the Amphibian Tree of Life." Systematic biology 70, 1 (2021): 49-66. Details. Full text
  • Poelstra, JW ;Salmona, J ;Tiley, GP ;Schüßler, D ;Blanco, MB ;Andriambeloson, JB ;Bouchez, O ;Campbell, CR ;Etter, PD ;Hohenlohe, PA ;Hunnicutt, KE ;Iribar, A ;Johnson, EA ;Kappeler, PM ;Larsen, PA ;Manzi, S ;Ralison, JM ;Randrianambinina, B ;Rasoloarison, RM ;Rasolofoson, DW ;Stahlke, AR ;Weisrock, DW ;Williams, RC ;Chikhi, L ;Louis, EE ;Radespiel, U ;Yoder, AD "Cryptic Patterns of Speciation in Cryptic Primates: Microendemic Mouse Lemurs and the Multispecies Coalescent." Systematic biology 70, 2 (2021): 203-218. Details. Full text
  • Everson, KM ;Gray, LN ;Jones, AG ;Lawrence, NM ;Foley, ME ;Sovacool, KL ;Kratovil, JD ;Hotaling, S ;Hime, PM ;Storfer, A.;Parra-Olea, G.;Percino-Daniel, R ;Aguilar-Miguel, X.;O'Neill, EM ;Zambrano, L ;Shaffer, HB ;Weisrock, DW "Geography is more important than life history in the recent diversification of the tiger salamander complex." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118, 17 (2021): Details. Full text
  • Hunnicutt, KE ;Tiley, GP ;Williams, RC ;Larsen, PA ;Blanco, MB ;Rasoloarison, RM ;Campbell, CR ;Zhu, K ;Weisrock, DW ;Matsunami, H ;Yoder, AD "Comparative Genomic Analysis of the Pheromone Receptor Class 1 Family (V1R) Reveals Extreme Complexity in Mouse Lemurs (Genus, Microcebus) and a Chromosomal Hotspot across Mammals." Genome biology and evolution 12, 1 (2020): 3562-3579. Details. Full text
  • Maigret, TA ;Cox, JJ ;Weisrock, DW "A spatial genomic approach identifies time lags and historical barriers to gene flow in a rapidly fragmenting Appalachian landscape." Molecular ecology 29, 4 (2020): 673-685. Details. Full text
  • Sethuraman, A ;Janzen, FJ ;Weisrock, DW ;Obrycki, JJ "Insights from Population Genomics to Enhance and Sustain Biological Control of Insect Pests." Insects 11, 8 (2020): Details. Full text
  • Hotaling, S ;Shain, DH ;Lang, SA ;Bagley, RK ;Tronstad, LM ;Weisrock, DW ;Kelley, JL "Long-distance dispersal, ice sheet dynamics and mountaintop isolation underlie the genetic structure of glacier ice worms." Proceedings. Biological sciences 286, 1905 (2019): 20190983. Details. Full text
  • Plouviez, S ;LaBella, AL ;Weisrock, DW ;von Meijenfeldt, FAB ;Ball, B ;Neigel, JE ;Van Dover, CL "Amplicon sequencing of 42 nuclear loci supports directional gene flow between South Pacific populations of a hydrothermal vent limpet." Ecology and evolution 9, 11 (2019): 6568-6580. Details. Full text
  • Hime, PM ;Briggler, JT ;Reece, JS ;Weisrock, DW "Genomic Data Reveal Conserved Female Heterogamety in Giant Salamanders with Gigantic Nuclear Genomes." G3 (Bethesda, Md.) 9, 10 (2019): 3467-3476. Details.
  • Donohue, ME ;Asangba, AE ;Ralainirina, J ;Weisrock, DW ;Stumpf, RM ;Wright, PC "Extensive variability in the gut microbiome of a highly-specialized and critically endangered lemur species across sites." American journal of primatology 81, 10-11 (2019): e23046. Details. Full text
  • Yuan, ZY ;Zhang, BL ;Raxworthy, CJ ;Weisrock, DW ;Hime, PM ;Jin, JQ ;Lemmon, EM ;Lemmon, AR ;Holland, SD ;Kortyna, ML ;Zhou, WW ;Peng, MS ;Che, J ;Prendini, E "Natatanuran frogs used the Indian Plate to step-stone disperse and radiate across the Indian Ocean." National science review 6, 1 (2019): 10-14. Details.
  • Hotaling, S ;Foley, ME ;Zeglin, LH ;Finn, DS ;Tronstad, LM ;Giersch, JJ ;Muhlfeld, CC ;Weisrock, DW "Microbial assemblages reflect environmental heterogeneity in alpine streams." Global change biology 25, 8 (2019): 2576-2590. Details. Full text
  • Nunziata, SO ;Weisrock, DW "Estimation of contemporary effective population size and population declines using RAD sequence data." Heredity 120, 3 (2018): 196-207. Details. Full text
  • Jones, KS ;Weisrock, DW "Genomic data reject the hypothesis of sympatric ecological speciation in a clade of Desmognathus salamanders." Evolution; international journal of organic evolution 72, 11 (2018): 2378-2393. Details.
  • Nunziata, SO ;Lance, SL ;Scott, DE ;Lemmon, EM ;Weisrock, DW "Genomic data detect corresponding signatures of population size change on an ecological time scale in two salamander species." Molecular ecology 26, 4 (2017): 1060-1074. Details. Full text
  • Hotaling, S ;Finn, DS ;Giersch, Joseph ;Weisrock, DW ;Jacobsen, D "Climate change and alpine stream biology: progress, challenges, and opportunities for the future." Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 92, 4 (2017): 2024-2045. Details. Full text
  • Hotaling, S ;Foley, ME ;Lawrence, NM ;Bocanegra, J ;Blanco, MB ;Rasoloarison, R ;Kappeler, PM ;Barrett, MA ;Yoder, AD ;Weisrock, DW "Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs." Molecular ecology 25, 9 (2016): 2029-45. Details. Full text
  • Yoder, AD ;Campbell, CR ;Blanco, MB ;Reis, Dos ;Ganzhorn, JU ;Goodman, SM ;Hunnicutt, KE ;Larsen, PA ;Kappeler, PM ;Rasoloarison, RM ;Ralison, JM ;Swofford, DL ;Weisrock, DW "Geogenetic patterns in mouse lemurs (genus Microcebus) reveal the ghosts of Madagascar's forests past." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113, 29 (2016): 8049-56. Details. Full text
  • O'Neill, EM ;Schwartz, R.;Bullock, CT ;Williams, JS ;Shaffer, HB ;Aguilar-Miguel, X.;Parra-Olea, G.;Weisrock, DW "Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing reveals major lineages and phylogenetic structure in the North American tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) species complex." Molecular ecology 22, 1 (2013): 111-29. Details. Full text
  • Williams, JS ;Niedzwiecki, JH ;Weisrock, DW "Species tree reconstruction of a poorly resolved clade of salamanders (Ambystomatidae) using multiple nuclear loci." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 68, 3 (2013): 671-82. Details. Full text
  • Kajita, Y.;O'Neill, EM ;Zheng, Y.;Obrycki, JJ ;Weisrock, DW "A population genetic signature of human releases in an invasive ladybeetle." Molecular ecology 21, 22 (2012): 5473-83. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Smith, SD ;Chan, LM ;Biebouw, K.;Kappeler, PM ;Yoder, AD "Concatenation and concordance in the reconstruction of mouse lemur phylogeny: an empirical demonstration of the effect of allele sampling in phylogenetics." Molecular biology and evolution 29, 6 (2012): 1615-30. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW "Concordance analysis in mitogenomic phylogenetics." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 65, 1 (2012): 194-202. Details. Full text
  • Haws, DC ;Huggins, P.;O'Neill, EM ;Weisrock, DW ;Yoshida, R. "A support vector machine based test for incongruence between sets of trees in tree space." BMC bioinformatics 13, (2012): 210. Details. Full text
  • Chan, LM ;Goodman, SM ;Nowak, MD ;Weisrock, DW ;Yoder, AD "Increased population sampling confirms low genetic divergence among Pteropus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) fruit bats of Madagascar and other western Indian Ocean islands." PLoS currents 3, (2011): RRN1226. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Rasoloarison, RM ;Fiorentino, I.;Ralison, JM ;Goodman, SM ;Kappeler, PM ;Yoder, AD "Delimiting species without nuclear monophyly in Madagascar's mouse lemurs." PloS one 5, 3 (2010): e9883. Details. Full text
  • Groeneveld, LF ;Weisrock, DW ;Rasoloarison, RM ;Yoder, AD ;Kappeler, PM "Species delimitation in lemurs: multiple genetic loci reveal low levels of species diversity in the genus Cheirogaleus." BMC evolutionary biology 9, (2009): 30. Details. Full text
  • Horvath, JE ;Weisrock, DW ;Embry, SL ;Fiorentino, I.;Balhoff, JP ;Kappeler, P.;Wray, GA ;Willard, HF ;Yoder, AD "Development and application of a phylogenomic toolkit: resolving the evolutionary history of Madagascar's lemurs." Genome research 18, 3 (2008): 489-99. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Papenfuss, TJ ;Macey, JR ;Litvinchuk, SN ;Polymeni, R.;Ugurtas, IH ;Zhao, E.;Jowkar, H.;Larson, A. "A molecular assessment of phylogenetic relationships and lineage accumulation rates within the family Salamandridae (Amphibia, Caudata)." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 41, 2 (2006): 368-83. Details. Full text
  • Kozak, KH ;Weisrock, DW ;Larson, A. "Rapid lineage accumulation in a non-adaptive radiation: phylogenetic analysis of diversification rates in eastern North American woodland salamanders (Plethodontidae: Plethodon)." Proceedings. Biological sciences 273, 1586 (2006): 539-46. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Harmon, LJ ;Larson, A. "Resolving deep phylogenetic relationships in salamanders: analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear genomic data." Systematic biology 54, 5 (2005): 758-77. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Kozak, KH ;Larson, A. "Phylogeographic analysis of mitochondrial gene flow and introgression in the salamander, Plethodon shermani." Molecular ecology 14, 5 (2005): 1457-72. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Macey, JR ;Ugurtas, IH ;Larson, A.;Papenfuss, TJ "Molecular phylogenetics and historical biogeography among salamandrids of the "true" salamander clade: rapid branching of numerous highly divergent lineages in Mertensiella luschani associated with the rise of Anatolia." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 18, 3 (2001): 434-48. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Janzen, FJ "Comparative molecular phylogeography of North American softshell turtles (Apalone): implications for regional and wide-scale historical evolutionary forces." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 14, 1 (2000): 152-64. Details. Full text
  • Weisrock, DW ;Macey, JR ;Matsui, M ;Mulcahy, DG ;Papenfuss, TJ "Molecular phylogenetic reconstruction of the endemic Asian salamander family Hynobiidae (Amphibia, Caudata)." Zootaxa 3626, (0): 77-93. Details.
* Publications are automatically pulled from pubmed.gov based on a user-specific query. Results may include incorrect citations. See: Tutorial on improving PubMed results.