W. David Weber

Postdoctoral Research Associate
ISB 465A

David received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of New Orleans, where he also received a Master of Science degree in Biology. His work at the University of New Orleans focused on the ecology of small green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis); he investigated how this species established home ranges and how its sexes interacted. While observing their territorial behavior David became interested in the dynamics of how these animals were mating. Questions in this area led David to a PhD program at the University of Maryland with Dr. Heidi Fisher. David’s work at the University of Maryland involved investigating how mating strategies impacted species evolution, physiology, and competitive response, using the Peromyscus mouse model. This work highlighted possible co-evolution of male and female reproductive traits; for instance, sperm speed in males positively correlates with oviduct length in females. Additionally, the work highlighted behavioral changes based on mating system, as monogamous male mice were more aggressive than promiscuous male mice.

His work at the University of Maryland sparked David’s interest in fertility, and the mechanisms that grant one individual a fertilization advantage over another. That interest has led him to work in the laboratory of Dr. Pablo Visconti, here at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Currently David is working on understanding mechanisms of fertilization by subjecting sperm to various treatments that hinder and improve its ability to fuse with an oocyte. David was awarded a Lalor Foundation Fellowship 2022, and in 2023 David was awarded an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue his work here at UMass.