Tessa Pierce Ward bio photo

Tessa Pierce Ward

Assistant Researcher, UC Davis

Email Twitter Github


I’m an Assistant Researcher associated with the lab for data-intensive biology at UC Davis run by Titus Brown. My work focuses on building bioinformatic tools to enable large-scale sequence comparisons, and I am a developer and maintainer of sourmash and branchwater. For more, go here. I’m particularly interested in bringing more diverse perspectives into omics work through training and outreach. The past two summers, I have taught at MBL’s Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structures (STAMPS). Previously, I taught bioinformatics and genomics workshops at Davis (DIBSI, Non-model RNAseq) and through The Carpentries.

In 2017, I received my PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, advised by Ron Burton and Terry Gaasterland. I conducted interdisciplinary research focusing on the response of the California market squid, Doryteuthis opalescens, to low oxygen and low pH conditions. For more, go here. As part of TIDES (Team for Inclusion of Diversity in Education and Science), I worked towards the recruitment and hiring of a diversity officer and building a plan for improving campus climate at SIO.

You can also find me nerding out over coffee and books, or hiking across hillsides with my incredible dog, Loba.