Beth Shapiro

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Beth Shapiro
Beth Shapiro - PopTech 2010 cropped.jpg
Beth Shapiro speaking at PopTech in 2010
Beth Alison Shapiro

1976 (age 43–44)
NationalityUnited States
Alma mater
Known forHow to Clone a Mammoth[1]
Scientific career
ThesisInferring evolutionary history and processes using ancient DNA (2003)
Doctoral advisorAlan 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 539324. PMID 15660162. open access
  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. PMID 16368896. (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. PMID 15567864. (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. PMC 4070744. PMID 22048313. (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. PMID 23803765. (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. PMID 22048314. (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. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.