Beth Shapiro

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Beth Shapiro
Beth Shapiro - PopTech 2010 cropped.jpg
Beth Shapiro speaking at PopTech in 2010
Born Beth Alison Shapiro
1976 (age 41–42)
Allentown, Pennsylvania, US
Nationality United States
Alma mater
Known for How to Clone a Mammoth[1]
Scientific career
Thesis Inferring evolutionary history and processes using ancient DNA (2003)
Doctoral advisor Alan J. Cooper[4]

Beth Alison Shapiro (born 1976[5]) is an American evolutionary molecular biologist. She is a Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Shapiro's work has centered on the analysis of ancient DNA.[6][3] She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (aka “genius grant”) in 2009[5][7] and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF) in 2006.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Shapiro was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania[8] and grew up in Rome, Georgia, where she served as the local news presenter while still in high school.[9] She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1999 with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in ecology.[5] The same year she was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship[9] followed by a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford for research on inferring evolutionary history and processes using ancient DNA supervised by Alan J. Cooper.[4]

Career and research[edit]

Shapiro was appointed a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Oxford in 2004.[citation needed] The same year she was appointed director of the Henry Wellcome Biomolecules Centre at Oxford, a position she held until 2007. In 2006 she was awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship.[2] While at the Biomolecules Centre Shapiro carried out mitochondrial DNA analysis of the dodo.[10][11]

Shapiro's research on ecology has been published in leading journals[3] including Molecular Biology and Evolution,[12] PLOS Biology,[13] Science[10][14][15] and Nature.[16][17][18] In 2007, she was named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of 37 young American innovators under the age of 36.[19]


Selected peer reviewed publications in scientific journals[3] and books include:

  • Bayesian coalescent inference of past population dynamics from molecular sequences[12]
  • Rise and fall of the Beringian steppe bison[15]
  • Ancient DNA: Methods and Protocols[20]
  • How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction[1]
  • Flight of the Dodo[10]
  • A late Pleistocene steppe bison (Bison priscus) partial carcass from Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, Canada[21]

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shapiro, Beth (2015). How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691157054. 
  2. ^ a b c d Anon (2006). "Dr Beth Shapiro, Research Fellow". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2017-03-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d Beth Shapiro publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ a b Shapiro, Beth Alison (2003). Inferring evolutionary history and processes using ancient DNA. (DPhil thesis). Oxford: University of Oxford. OCLC 56923402. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Anon (2011). "2009 MacArthur Fellows: Beth Shapiro". MacArthur Foundation. Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Ancient DNA -- What It Is and What It Could Be: Beth Shapiro at TEDxDeExtinction on YouTube TEDx talk
  7. ^ Shapiro, Beth (2012). "Beth Shapiro Curriculum Vitae at Penn State University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-14. 
  8. ^ Beattie-Moss, Melissa. "Evolution of a Scientist: An Interview with Beth Shapiro". Research Penn State. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Williams, Phil; Hannon, Sharron. "The Rhodes to Oxford: Ecology student, Foundation Fellow Beth Shapiro becomes UGA's third Rhodes Scholar in four years". University of Georgia. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Shapiro, Beth; Sibthorpe, Dean; Rambaut, Andrew; Austin, Jeremy; Wragg, Graham M.; Bininda-Emonds, Olaf R.P.; Lee, Patricia L.M.; Cooper, Alan (2002). "Flight of the Dodo". Science. 295 (5560): 1683. doi:10.1126/science.295.5560.1683. PMID 11872833.  (subscription required)
  11. ^ Curry, Andrew. "How to Make a Dodo: Biologist Beth Shapiro has figured out a recipe for success in the field of ancient DNA research". Smithsonian Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Drummond, A. J.; Rambaut, A; Shapiro, B.; Pybus, O. G. (2005). "Bayesian Coalescent Inference of Past Population Dynamics from Molecular Sequences". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 22 (5): 1185–1192. doi:10.1093/molbev/msi103. ISSN 0737-4038. PMID 15703244. 
  13. ^ Penny, David; Bunce, Michael; Szulkin, Marta; Lerner, Heather R. L; Barnes, Ian; Shapiro, Beth; Cooper, Alan; Holdaway, Richard N (2005). "Ancient DNA Provides New Insights into the Evolutionary History of New Zealand's Extinct Giant Eagle". PLoS Biology. 3 (1): e9. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030009. ISSN 1545-7885. PMC 539324Freely accessible. PMID 15660162.  open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ Poinar, H. N. (2006). "Metagenomics to Paleogenomics: Large-Scale Sequencing of Mammoth DNA". Science. 311 (5759): 392–394. doi:10.1126/science.1123360. ISSN 0036-8075.  (subscription required)
  15. ^ a b Shapiro, B. (2004). "Rise and Fall of the Beringian Steppe Bison". Science. 306 (5701): 1561–1565. doi:10.1126/science.1101074. ISSN 0036-8075.  (subscription required)
  16. ^ Lorenzen, Eline D.; Nogués-Bravo, David; Orlando, Ludovic; Weinstock, Jaco; Binladen, Jonas; Marske, Katharine A.; Ugan, Andrew; Borregaard, Michael K.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Nielsen, Rasmus; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Goebel, Ted; Graf, Kelly E.; Byers, David; Stenderup, Jesper T.; Rasmussen, Morten; Campos, Paula F.; Leonard, Jennifer A.; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Froese, Duane; Zazula, Grant; Stafford, Thomas W.; Aaris-Sørensen, Kim; Batra, Persaram; Haywood, Alan M.; Singarayer, Joy S.; Valdes, Paul J.; Boeskorov, Gennady; Burns, James A.; Davydov, Sergey P.; Haile, James; Jenkins, Dennis L.; Kosintsev, Pavel; Kuznetsova, Tatyana; Lai, Xulong; Martin, Larry D.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Mol, Dick; Meldgaard, Morten; Munch, Kasper; Stephan, Elisabeth; Sablin, Mikhail; Sommer, Robert S.; Sipko, Taras; Scott, Eric; Suchard, Marc A.; Tikhonov, Alexei; Willerslev, Rane; Wayne, Robert K.; Cooper, Alan; Hofreiter, Michael; Sher, Andrei; Shapiro, Beth; Rahbek, Carsten; Willerslev, Eske (2011). "Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans". Nature. 479 (7373): 359–364. doi:10.1038/nature10574. ISSN 0028-0836.  (subscription required)
  17. ^ Orlando, Ludovic; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Zhang, Guojie; Froese, Duane; Albrechtsen, Anders; Stiller, Mathias; Schubert, Mikkel; Cappellini, Enrico; Petersen, Bent; Moltke, Ida; Johnson, Philip L. F.; Fumagalli, Matteo; Vilstrup, Julia T.; Raghavan, Maanasa; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo; Vogt, Josef; Szklarczyk, Damian; Kelstrup, Christian D.; Vinther, Jakob; Dolocan, Andrei; Stenderup, Jesper; Velazquez, Amhed M. V.; Cahill, James; Rasmussen, Morten; Wang, Xiaoli; Min, Jiumeng; Zazula, Grant D.; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Mortensen, Cecilie; Magnussen, Kim; Thompson, John F.; Weinstock, Jacobo; Gregersen, Kristian; Røed, Knut H.; Eisenmann, Véra; Rubin, Carl J.; Miller, Donald C.; Antczak, Douglas F.; Bertelsen, Mads F.; Brunak, Søren; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.; Ryder, Oliver; Andersson, Leif; Mundy, John; Krogh, Anders; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Kjær, Kurt; Sicheritz-Ponten, Thomas; Jensen, Lars Juhl; Olsen, Jesper V.; Hofreiter, Michael; Nielsen, Rasmus; Shapiro, Beth; Wang, Jun; Willerslev, Eske (2013). "Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse". Nature. 499 (7456): 74–78. doi:10.1038/nature12323. ISSN 0028-0836.  (subscription required)
  18. ^ Higham, Tom; Compton, Tim; Stringer, Chris; Jacobi, Roger; Shapiro, Beth; Trinkaus, Erik; Chandler, Barry; Gröning, Flora; Collins, Chris; Hillson, Simon; O’Higgins, Paul; FitzGerald, Charles; Fagan, Michael (2011). "The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe". Nature. 479 (7374): 521–524. doi:10.1038/nature10484. ISSN 0028-0836.  (subscription required)
  19. ^ "37 under 36: America's Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences". Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. 
  20. ^ Shapiro, Beth; Hofreiter, Michael, eds. (2012). Ancient DNA: Methods and Protocols. New York: Humana Press. ISBN 978-1-61779-515-2. 
  21. ^ Zazula, Grant D.; MacKay, Glen; Andrews, Thomas D.; Shapiro, Beth; Letts, Brandon; Broc, Fiona (2009). "A late Pleistocene steppe bison (Bison priscus) partial carcass from Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, Canada" (PDF). Quaternary Science Reviews. 28 (25–26): 2734–2742. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.06.012. 
  22. ^ "Beth Shapiro selected as National Geographic Emerging Explorer". Penn State Live. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Beth A. Shapiro (BS '99, MS '99) receives Young Alumnus Award". Odom School of Ecology, The University of Georgia. Retrieved 19 March 2011.