Research interests: the role of biomechanical constraints in life history evolution; paths of least resistance in the evolution of new traits; methods development for analysing organism color and pattern.


Education

2019 – Present
PhD candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Brown University (Providence, RI)
Thesis: How much does functional morphology matter to the evolution of mouthbrooding?
2017 – 2019
Transitional M.Sc., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Brown University (Providence, RI)
Thesis: How do feeding adaptations influence the convergent evolution of mouthbrooding?
2012 – 2016
Honors B.Sc., Biology
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Thesis: Winnowing in the eartheater cichlids

Peer-reviewed publications

Cohen, K.E., Weller, H.I., Westneat, M.W., and Summers, A.P (2020). The Evolutionary Continuum of Functional Homodonty to Heterodonty in the Dentition of Halichoeres Wrasses. Integrative and Comparative Biology (in revision).

Weller, H.I.*, Hooper, S.E.*, and Amelon, S.K (2020). Countcolors, an R package for quantification of the fluorescence emitted by Pseudogymnoascus destructans lesions on the wing membranes of hibernating bats. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. https://doi.org/10.7589/2019-09-231
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Cohen, K.E., Weller, H.I., and Summers, A.P. (2020). Not your father’s homodonty—stress, tooth shape, and the functional homodont. Journal of Anatomy. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.13248

Weller, H.I., Olsen, A., Camp, A.L., Hernandez, L.P., Manafzadeh, A.R., and Brainerd, E.L. (2020). An XROMM study of intra-oral transport and swallowing in catfish. Integrative Organismal Biology. https://doi.org/10.1093/iob/obaa018.

van Meer, N.M., Weller, H.I., Manafzadeh, A.R., Kaczmarek, E.B., Scott, B., Gussekloo, S.W.S, Wilga, C.D., Brainerd, E.B., and Camp, A.L. (2019). Intra-oropharyngeal food transport and swallowing in white-spotted bamboo sharks. Journal of Experimental Biology. 10.1242/jeb.201426

Weller, H.I., and Westneat, M.W. (2019). Quantitative color profiling of digital images with earth mover’s distance using the R package colordistance. PeerJ. 10.7717/peerj.6398

Weller, H.I., McMahan, C.D., and Westneat, M.W. (2016). Dirt-sifting Devilfish: Winnowing in the geophagine cichlid Satanoperca daemon and evolutionary implications. Zoomorphology. 10.1007/s00435-016-0335-6

Publications in preparation

Capano, J. G., Cieri, R. L., Weller, H.I., and Brainerd, E. L. (2020). Ribs All the Way Down: 3D-Rib Kinematics during Lung Ventilation in Boa constrictor (Reptilia: Serpentes), Comparison with Three Non-Serpentine Squamates, and Implications for Evolutionary Convergence (in prep).

Software

Weller, H.I. (2020). recolorize: Simplify and Remap Image Colors for Biological Analysis (ver. 0.9.0). Compiled and installable; CRAN release planned. https://github.com/hiweller/recolorize

Weller, H.I. (2019). colordistance: Distance Metrics for Image Color Similarity (ver. 1.1.0). CRAN repository. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=colordistance

Weller, H.I. (2018). countcolors: Locates and Counts Pixels Within Color Range(s) in Images (ver. 0.9.1). CRAN Repository. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=countcolors

Presentations

Weller, H.I., López-Fernández, H., McMahan, C.D., and Brainerd, E.L. (Jan. 2020). Talk: The spandrels of Satan’s perches: evidence for the co-optation of feeding traits in the convergent evolution of mouthbrooding in Neotropical cichlids. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, TX.

Weller, H.I., López-Fernández, H., McMahan, C.D., and Brainerd, E.L. (Oct. 2019). Talk: Does mouthbrooding constrain or complement feeding morphology? Regional Division of Vertebrate Morphology (Northeast), Newton, MA.

Weller, H.I., Olsen, A., Camp, A.L., Hernandez, L.P., Manafzadeh, A.R., and Brainerd, E.L. (Jan. 2019). Talk: 3D-Intra-oral Prey Trajectories Indicate Distinct Phases in how Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus, Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) Swallow Food. International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology, Prague, CZ.

Weller, H.I., Cohen, K.E., Gibb, A., and Brainerd, E.L. (Jan. 2019). Poster: Using tethers to measure food transport in a flatfish. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL.

Weller, H.I., Olsen, A., Camp, A.L., Hernandez, L.P., Manafzadeh, A.R., and Brainerd, E.L.(Jan. 2019). Talk: An XROMM study of intra-oral transport and swallowing in catfish. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Tampa, FL.

Weller, H.I. and Brainerd, E.L. (Oct. 2017). Talk: How do fish swallow food? Regional Division of Vertebrate Morphology (Northeast), Lowell, MA.

Weller, H.I., McMahan, C.D., and Westneat, M.W. (July 2016). Poster: Dirt-sifting devilfish: winnowing in eartheater cichlids. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, LA.

Awards and Fellowships

April 2019
Graduate Research Fellowship
$138,000, National Science Foundation
December 2018
Field Museum Visiting Scientist Scholarship
$1,500, Field Museum of Natural History
May 2017
Presidential Fellowship
$108,000, Brown University
June 2015
Jeff Metcalf Undergraduate Research Fellowship
$5,000, Marine Biological Laboratory
March 2015
Elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society
September 2014
Best Presentation, Undergraduate Research Symposium
$150, University of Chicago
June 2014
Elliott and Eileen Hinkes Research Fellowship
$4,000, University of Chicago

Invited talks, lectures, & workshops

July 2020
Workshop: Phylogenetic Comparative Methods in R
University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories (Friday Harbor, WA)
R workshop focusing on phylogenetic and comparative methods. Instructors: Matthew Kolmann and Cassandra Donatelli.
July 2020
A field guide to statistics in organismal biology
University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories (Friday Harbor, WA)
Guest lecture. Instructors: Matthew Kolmann and Cassandra Donatelli.
July 2020
Mouthbrooding morphologies in Neotropical cichlids
University of California Davis, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Davis, CA)
Virtual seminar. Host: Peter Wainwright.
April 2020
Special Topics: Light, Color, and Vision in Biology (BIOL 7901/ENTM 7008)
Louisiana State University, Dept. of Entomology and Dept. of Biology (Baton Rouge, LA)
Guest lecturer (3 classes). Instructors: Nathan Lord (ENTM) & Brant Faircloth (BIOL).
December 2019
Workshop: R for Biologists
Louisiana State University, Dept. of Entomology (Baton Rouge, LA)
Organizer. Day-long workshop on data analysis and visualization in R.

Research experience

2017 – Present
Graduate student, Brainerd Lab; advisor: Elizabeth Brainerd
Brown University, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Comparative morphology, kinematics, and biomechanics of mouthbrooding fishes; XROMM fish feeding and transport.
September 2013 – July 2017
Research assistant; advisor: Mark Westneat
University of Chicago, Dept. of Organismal Biology & Anatomy
Quantitative color analysis; geometric morphometrics; high-speed video kinematics.
June 2015 – September 2015
Jeff Metcalf Summer Research Fellow; advisor: Roger Hanlon
Brown University, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hyperspectral imaging; image analysis pipelines; camouflage analyses.
June 2014 – September 2014
Summer Research Fellow, Westneat Lab; advisor: Mark Westneat
University of Chicago, Dept. of Organismal Biology & Anatomy
Ontogenetic scaling; biomechanical modeling; geometric morphometrics.

Teaching and outreach

August 2020 – Present
Teaching assistant, Brown University, Alpert Medical School (Providence, RI)
COVID-modified Human Anatomy (lecture and lab)
Restructuring the traditional gross anatomy curriculum, including remote/small group work and prosection-based staggered labs.
September 2019 – Present
R User Group, Brown University, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Providence, RI)
Organizing and running monthly R workshops for graduate and undergraduate students, focusing on techniques for biological analysis (e.g., data organization, statistics, and visualization).
August 2019 – April 2020
Teaching assistant, Brown University, Alpert Medical School (Providence, RI)
Human Anatomy (lecture and lab)
Guiding medical students through cadaver-based human anatomy labs.
September 2018 – Present
Marine Science Club, Paul Cuffee High School (Providence, RI)
Collaborating with high school teachers for weekly science activities with high school students.
September 2017 – Dec. 2017
Teaching assistant, Brown University, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (Providence, RI)
Diversity of Life (lecture)
January 2015 – April 2017
Teaching assistant, University of Chicago, Dept. of Biological Sciences (Chicago, IL)
Presenting and supervising lab experiments; writing and grading assignments; lecturing; leading paper discussions and review sessions; guiding dissection-based anatomy labs.

Genetic and Developmental Biology (lab & lecture)
Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems (lecture)
Molecular Biology of the Cell (lab)
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (lab & lecture)

June 2013 – September 2013
Animal care intern, New England Aquarium (Boston, MA)
Daily animal care and maintenance; visitor outreach; collection trips.

Skills

Coding
R, Python (OpenCV, Scrapy, & BioPython libraries), MATLAB, UNIX, MEL
Software
Latex, Maya, FIJI/ImageJ, Horos, 3DSlicer, XMALab, Mesquite, Pandoc, Microsoft Office
Languages
English (native), French (intermediate)

Lab: Biomedical Center 426, 171 Meeting St., Providence, RI 02906
Email: hannahiweller@gmail.com
Website: hiweller.github.io