Director, Slater Museum of Natural History
Peter Wimberger is an evolutionary and conservation biologist doing research that aims to increase understanding of the patterns and processes of evolution. He has conducted work in the areas of molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography, and run ecology studies using museum specimens to answer evolutionary, ecological, and conservation questions. His projects include studies of iceworms that live on bacteria and algae in glaciers in Oregon, and the evolution of Anna’s Hummingbirds, birds that appeared to expand their range from the Southwest because of the many hummingbird feeders in the Pacific Northwest. Wimberger and his students have also studied plastic ingestion by seabirds, starvation in Common Murres, and the whistling wings of sea ducks. He led students in studies of biodiversity and conservation in Borneo, and he developed Project GROWS, a program for high school biology students to conduct genetic research on endangered Washington salmon. Wimberger also is interested in the creationism vs. evolution debate in public schools. He teaches courses on Evolution and the Diversity of Life, and in the Environmental Policy and Decision Making program. Published articles include: “Historical Biogeography of the North American Glacier Ice Worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus,” in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, and, with Joel Elliott, et al., “Differences in morphology and habitat use among the native mussel Mytilus trossulus, the non-native M. galloprovincialis, and their hybrids in Puget Sound, Washington,” in Marine Biology.
B.A., University of Washington, 1982; Ph.D., Cornell University, 1991