Sierra Weir is in her second year at LSU pursuing a Master of Science degree in Entomology under the advisement of Dr. Nathan Lord. In the spring of 2020 she graduated with a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the College of Wooster, where she completed her undergraduate thesis on genomic variation in melanin expression using Betta splendens. She has since discovered the vibrant and unknown field of insect pigmentation, enabling her to continue her passion of integrating art and nature.
Sierra is currently working to identify pigments found in red, orange, and yellow Jewel Beetles in order to assess chemical shifts associated with geographic splitting and warning coloration within an evolutionary context. She hopes to continue exploring the biochemical mechanisms of natural pigments and spread awareness about environmental conservation through research and art.
As Vice President of the LSU Entomology Club she develops lesson plans, builds interactive insect displays, and teaches lessons at summer camps and elementary schools in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. She also makes and sells mixed media art locally, including but not limited to preserved insect artworks and ceramics.