Regina Wetzer

Adjunct Associate Professor (Research) of Biological Sciences
Email Office AHF 107A Office Phone (213) 763-3217


  • Ph.D. Biology, University of South Carolina, 2000
  • M.S. Biology, California State University Long Beach, 1983
  • B.S. Biology, Loyola Marymount University, 1975
  • Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Adjunct Faculty, University of Southern California, 2005-08-01-

    PostDoctoral Appointments

    • Post Doctoral Researcher, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 01/01/2000 – 01/01/2002
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Understanding evolution is fundamental to deciphering the complexity of our living world and its enormous biological diversity. Wetzer is interested in evolutionary questions about invertebrates and uses phylogenetic inference to investigate broad evolutionary patterns at a macroevolutionary scale. Her specialty is Crustacea with a focus on marine isopods (pill bugs). Her extensive field work, as well as morphological and molecular systematic work in the lab reconstruct the history of character change on a phylogeny enabling evaluation of specific hypotheses and the formulation of new biologically interesting questions. Wetzer’s interests include exploring evolutionary hypotheses involving previously unexplained life history traits, homoplastic morphological features, and biogeographic distributions.

  • Journal Article

    • Zala, K., Pentcheff, N. D., Wetzer, R. (2005). Laser-printed labels in wet collections: Are they holding up?. Collection Forum. Vol. 19 (1/2), pp. 49-56.
    • Bruce, N. L., Wetzer, R. (2004). Paradella tiffany. Zootaxa. Vol. 623, pp. 1-12.
    • Martin, J. W., Heard, R. W., Wetzer, R. (2003). A new species of Stenetrium Haswell, 1881 (Crustacea: Peracarida: Isopoda: Asellota), from Navassa Island, Northern Caribbean Sea. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Vol. 116 (4), pp. 967-977.
    • Staton, J. L., Taylor, B. E., Schizas, N. V., Wetzer, R., Glenn, T. C., Coull, B. C. (2003). Mitochondrial gene diversity of Skistodiaptomus mississippiensis in impoundments of the Upper Coastal Plain near Aiken, South Carolina, USA. Archiv fuer Hydrobiologie. Vol. 158 (2), pp. 215-231.
    • Wetzer, R., Martin, J. W., Trautwein, S. E. (2003). Phylogenetic relationships within the coral crab genus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Vol. 27, pp. 410-421.
    • Lewis, J. J., Martin, J. M., Wetzer, R. (2003). Columbasellus acheron. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Vol. 116 (1), pp. 190-197.
    • Wetzer, R. (2002). Mitochondrial genes and isopod phylogeny (Crustacea: Isopoda). Journal of Crustacean Biology. Vol. 22 (1), pp. 1-14.
    • Wetzer, R. (2001). Hierarchical analysis of mtDNA variation and the use of mtDNA for isopod systematics (Crustacea: Isopoda). Contributions to Zoology, Amsterdam. Vol. 70 (1), pp. 23-39.


    • Harvey, A. W., Martin, J. W., Wetzer, R. (2001). Phylum Arthropoda: Crustacea. Atlas of Marine Invertebrate LarvaeAcademic Press.
  • Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

      Work Study Students: Since 2004 created and managed ongoing program for work study students in collections care (over 35 students to date), two of whom are now permanent NHM collections staff.
      See: and
      Undergraduate Directed Research Students: Since 2004 guided 8 undergraduate
      projects (USC course BISC 490, HP 290). Products have included peer-reviewed
      publications, species descriptions, biological model system developement, and conference presentations.
      Postdoctoral Advisee Alexandra Hiller, Department of Animal Ecology, Justus-Liebig-
      University, Giessen, Germany, contributed to the gene sequencing effort on the NSF
      sphaeromatid isopod project.