MICHAEL D SHAPIRO portrait
  • James E. Talmange Presidential Endowed Chair in Biology
  • Professor, School Of Biological Sciences
  • Adjunct Professor, Human Genetics

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY
  • Master of Arts, HARVARD UNIVERSITY
  • Doctor of Philosophy, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Biography

My research combines field studies, embryology, and genetics to study the molecular basis of evolutionary change. My undergraduate and graduate training in vertebrate paleontology and comparative morphology strongly informs my approach to science – biodiversity forms the core of my lab’s work, and my research program is thus continually pushed into new areas of inquiry to understand variation within and among species. Recently, we made a major shift in research focus from stickleback fish to domestic pigeons to understand the molecular changes associated with radical alterations in anatomy and behavior. This move represented a new area of inquiry, yet we have already demonstrated that we can address significant questions about phenotypic variation and understand the developmental consequences of genetic variants. Our ongoing and future research on the genetics of morphology and behavior has great promise for additional original and innovative contributions to science. We are poised to exploit the extensive – but largely untapped – variation among pigeons to make novel discoveries about vertebrate diversity, genetics, and developmental biology.