The Genetics Lab

The Genetics Lab: Capturing Life in Sequence

The Genetics Lab, located inside Expedition Health, is where Museum scientists, community scientists, students, and collaborators conduct original research across the spectrum of life. Because the lab is visible to the public, Museum guests can observe daily activities that occur in a modern genetics laboratory—pipetting liquids, extracting and quantifying DNA, performing PCR experiments, running gel electrophoresis, analyzing data, writing grants and papers, and collaborating.

Currently, there are multiple health science and zoology projects being conducted in the lab, including genetics of taste in humans, camel spider genomics, avian genomics, and small mammal evolutionary genetics. Projects utilize the Museum’s extensive collections of DNA, frozen tissues, and specimens.  Visit our project pages below to learn more!

If this is something you think you might like to do, consider becoming a volunteer community scientist!  Most of the people in the lab on a day-to-day basis are volunteers who learn how to conduct genetics research onsite. You don’t need a science background, just a passion for learning and communicating science. 


Tiffany Nuessle, MA

Research Manager in the Genetics Lab

John R. Demboski, PhD

Senior Curator of Mammals and Director of Zoology and Health Sciences

Garth M. Spellman, PhD

Associate Curator of Ornithology

Paula E. Cushing, PhD

Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology

Erika Garcia, MS

Research Assistant

(Richard) Ryan Jones

Research Assistant

Courtney J. Scheskie, MA

Business Support Specialist

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