Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Great MInds Program - Dr. Beth Shapiro

"Liger, Tigons and Bears (Oh My!): The Genomic Consequences of Inter-species Hybridization"

April 2, 2013

Dr Beth Shapiro is an evolutionary biologist who uses genomics to better understand the complex relationship between environment and the evolution of species. A pioneer in the young field called “ancient DNA,” Beth travels extensively in the Arctic collecting bones of long-dead creatures including mammoths, horses, and extinct giant bears. Using DNA extracted from these remains, she hopes to learn how environment drives evolution, and why some species may be more susceptible than others to extinction. Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz, she received her undergraduate degree in ecology from the University of Georgia in 1999, and a D.Phil in Zoology from Oxford University in 2003. She has been widely recognized for her research, including honors such as being selected as a MacArthur Fellow, Packard Fellow, Searle Scholar, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Her scientific articles have appeared in such journals as Science, Nature, Molecular Biology and Evolution, and PLoS Biology. 

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