Beth Shapiro bigraphy, stories - American biologist

Beth Shapiro : biography

1976 -

Beth A. Shapiro (born 1976) is an American evolutionary molecular biologist. She is an Assistant 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. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2009.


Shapiro became a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Oxford in 2004. 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 University Research Fellowship by the Royal Society. While at the Biomolecules Centre Shapiro carried out mitochondrial DNA analysis of the dodo.

Shapiro has written on ecology for a number of journals including Science, Molecular Biology and Evolution and PLoS Biology. In 2007, she was named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of 37 young American innovators under the age of 36.

Selected publications

Honors and awards

  • National Geographic Emerging Explorer (2010)
  • University of Georgia Young Alumnus Award (2010)
  • MacArthur Fellowship (2009)
  • Smithsonian Magazine Young American Innovator in the Arts and Sciences (2007)
  • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2006)
  • Rhodes Scholarship (1999)
  • Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society (1998)
  • Morris K. Udall Scholarship for Excellence in Environmental Public Policy (1997)
  • Foundation Fellowship, University of Georgia (1994–1998)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Scholar (1995)

Early life and education

Shapiro was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and grew up in Rome, Georgia, where she served as the local news anchor while still in high school. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1999 with both a B.A. and an M.A. in ecology. The same year she was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. In 2003 Shapiro received a D.Phil. in biology from Oxford University.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine