I am Jason, the son of Roger and Barbara Berninger. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up there. Am the oldest of Barb and Roger’s four children (Mark, Brian, and Bethany). I went to St. Xavier High School., where I graduated in 1993. From there I matriculated to St. Louis University, where I pledged Tau Kappa Epsilon and majored in Biology (and 1 classs short of a minor in philosophy). College for me was everything it was supposed to be: education and extended adolescence. It is where I developed a love for beer and a passion for fish (not really fishing, but the love of the great mass of biodiversity among the small colorful denizens of the watery depths). After graduation I went to grad school to study the role of pollution on population genetics in fish. Of several projects I could choose from, I chose to work in the Amazon River on piranha and peacock bass. It was awesome, and I got to travel to the Amazon 10 times of the course of the next few years. The Amazon is a transformative place. It is my favorite place on the planet. I could sit and listen to the forest or stare down into those waters for hours or even days. So the Amazon lead me to Houston and the University of Houston Clear Lake, where I received my Master’s degree in 2002. From there I went back to Cincinnati. I started working for a fish hatchery, but quickly found a better job as a “fish identification technician” at the USEPA in Cincinnati. I spent from 2003-2007 working for them in various capacities from molecular biologist, ecotoxicologist, ichthyologist, and benthic macroinvertebrate identifier. As my time there was wrapping up I decided to start back to grad school to get my PhD at Baylor University. I spent the next 4 years in Waco working on my degree. Over the course of those 4 years I got travel all across the US and Canada and even to Spain to present my research. It was my research that brought me to Duluth, were I spent 3 years. It was during my time in Duluth that I met the love of my life Sara Lee. Sara and I met in March 2013 and were married in March 2014 on a lovely sunny day, surrounded by friends and family. On July 28th, we added our daughter Katie to the Ramble. In October of 2014 we moved all of us (2 cats, the dog, Sara, me, Katie, three fish, and all of our stuff) to Columbia, Missouri. We moved for my new job with the US Geological Survey as a research toxicologist. It has been a big year in a big life.
So I realize that after writing, that this does very little to describe who I am, mostly concentrating on where I’ve been. If you would like more insight into who I am you can read my blog: https://jasonsramble.wordpress.com/ or even look at my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jasonberninger .