Jeff Jensen, Ph.D.
Ecology and evolution are foundational areas in biology, and their importance is increasingly recognized in many aspects of human health and general welfare. Understanding ecology is essential for conservation, natural resource management, understanding disease epidemics, and agriculture. Knowledge of evolution is increasingly recognized as important for controlling and understanding disease. More generally, both ecology and evolution inform our understanding of the breadth and origins of life's magnificent diversity. In my courses I seek to convey both the fascination and practical values of these fields. My teaching in anatomy and physiology builds in these themes, with particular emphasis on how an understanding of comparative anatomy and physiology can help us better understand ourselves.
I am an ichthyologist with interests in ecology, evolution, physiology, and conservation. Students working with me do conventional microscopy, MicroCT scanning and analysis, detailed anatomy and anatomical modeling, computer modeling, 3D printing, field collection of habitat quality data, DNA extraction and sequencing, and assessment of fish population distribution and health.
My primary study systems are:
- Ecology and Evolution of Surfperches. I am particularly interested in the evolution of feeding systems and the relationship between anatomical and ecological variation.
- Distribution, history, and restoration of kokanee salmon in the Lake Washington/Sammamish watershed. The small streams flowing into Lakes Washing and Sammamish once teemed with native kokanee salmon – a freshwater-only form of sockeye salmon. Kokanee populations crashed in Lake Washington in the 1920’s, and in Lake Sammamish in the 1970’s, to the point that native kokanee are known to exist only in a few tributaries of Lake Sammamish. There is tantalizing evidence that some native kokanee persist in Lake Washington, but this has yet to be convincingly demonstrated. My students and I are working on establishing whether or not native kokanee can be found in Lake Washington tributaries, and assessing the potential for native kokanee restoration or reintroduction.
You can learn more about my interests by visiting my website.
University of Washington
- B.S. Fisheries
- B.S. Zoology