Photo of Chong, Jer Pin

Jer Pin Chong, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Biological Sciences


4285 SELE


950 S. Halsted St.

Office Phone Voice:

(312) 996-1241


I'm interested in applying principles of population genetics to wildlife conservation. My research centered around the conservation genetics of freshwater mussels. Freshwater mussels are one of the most endangered faunas in North America. These organisms have fascinating reproductive strategies that involve a parasitic life stage on host fish. Some mussel species develop modified lures that mimic aquatic invertebrates to attract the host fish.

My research involves species delimitation of freshwater mussel genera, using molecular data to resolve taxonomic confusion. I'm currently examining the impact of host dispersal and sperm gene flow to the genetic connectivity among mussel populations.


Teaching Interest

I am the lab coordinator for BIOS 221 Genetics Laboratory. I develop the teaching materials and lab activities to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Mendelian and molecular genetics. This course is designed to provide students with first-hand experience on basic molecular techniques, and expose students to scientific research and writing.

Selected Publications

(Complete list of publications on Google Scholar)

  1. Chong, J.P., J.L. Harris, and K.J. Roe. 2016. Incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear data in the freshwater mussel genus Cyprogenia (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Ecology and Evolution, 6: 2439-2452.
  2. Mock, K.E., J.C. Brim Box, J.P. Chong, J.K. Howard, D.A. Nez, D. Wolf, and R.S. Gardner. 2010. Genetic structuring in the freshwater mussel Anodonta corresponds with major hydrologic basins in the western United States. Molecular Ecology, 19: 569-591.


PhD, Iowa State University. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2016

MS, Utah State University. Wildlife Biology, 2006

BS, Utah State University. Fisheries and Wildlife, 2004