Environmental DNA for Science Investigation & Education

Speaker: Beth Shapiro, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Thursday, March 14th, 2019


Location: Biomed 300, UCSC


 Beth Shapiro will speak about the HHMI funded project to create an inclusive and coordinated pathway that will engage students in ecology and conservation biology and support them all the way through to graduation. The program will provide increased access to research-based field courses and internships, along with sustained mentoring and a supportive community.

Called Environmental DNA for Science Investigation and Education (eSIE), the three-tiered program starts with getting thousands of students involved in initial sampling efforts, either independently, with guidance from online instruction modules and mobile apps, or through organized sampling campaigns called "bioblitzes" at UC Natural Reserves and other sites throughout California. The consortium has been running bioblitzes through its CALeDNA project, and recruitment efforts are already under way to broaden the participation of students, including under-represented groups.

About Beth: Beth Shapiro is a professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Beth's research aims to better understand how populations and species change through time, in particular in in response to environmental and other changes to their habitat. To address this, her group uses the latest experimental and computational approaches to analyze genetic information isolated from fossil and archived remains. She is particularly interested in learning what drives two particularly important evolutionary processes: speciation and extinction.

Teaching Interests

Evolutionary Biology
Molecular Ecology

Awards, Honors and Grants

Packard Fellow, 2010
PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow, 2010
National Geographic Emerging Explorer, 2010
MacArthur Fellow, 2009
Searle Scholar, 2009
University Research Fellow, The Royal Society, 2006 
Rhodes Scholar, 1999