Join our lab group

We are recruiting highly motivated postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate trainees. Click the "Contact Us" link above for contact information.

drawing of English pouter

Pigeonetics: the game!

pigeonetics

Play the fun new virtual pigeon breeder video game and explore heredity at the Genetics Science Learning Center website!

Pigeon genetics research

Members of the pigeon hobbyist community are urged to contact us about our ongoing pigeon genetics project. See the press coverage of our recent publications here!

Science pigeon cover

 

current biology cover of an english pouter

(click images to enlarge)

 

Upcoming Events

Nov. 18, 2016: Center for Evolution | Genetics | Genomics 2016 Molecular Evolution Symposium

 

Calendar Links

Department of Biology calendar

Campus-wide Bioscience calendar

Genetics Interest Group schedule

Genetic variation and developmental diversity. What effects to different genetic variants have on embryonic and adult development? We use traditional genetics, genomics, and developmental approaches to address this question in pigeons and other species.

The Genetic and Developmental Basis of Evolutionary Change

What are the genetic and developmental origins of unique traits in natural populations and species of vertebrates? In most cases of trait evolution in natural and domesticated species, we do not know how many genes are involved, which genes are actually responsible for morphological change, whether alterations to these genes affect coding or regulatory regions, or whether the same genes are involved repeatedly in the evolution of similar traits in different populations and species. Our work addresses these major issues.

News

11/2016

Our work is featured in the latest College of Science research report.

11/2016

New in Developmental Biology: E.T. Domyan, M.D. Shapiro. Pigeonetics takes flight: Evolution, development, and genetics of intraspecific variation.

10/2016

We welcome Raquel Maynez, who joined the lab as an undergraduate researcher.

9/2016

We welcome Emily Maclary, who joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow.

7/2016

Mike was named a University of Utah Presidential Scholar for 2016-2019.

7/2016

Anna and Rebecca are presenting their research at The Allied Genetics Conference in Orlando, FL.

5/2016

Congratulations to graduate student Anna Vickrey for receiving a DeLill Nasser Award from the Genetics Society of America!

4/2016

Congratulations to undergraduate Tennyson George for receiving a Biology Undergraduate Research Program summer research grant!

4/2016

Mike was the guest for Episode 7 of the This Week in Evolution podcast, hosted by Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello.

3/2016

Congratulations to Anna Vickrey for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!

3/2016

Our work on the genetics of feathered feet was highlighted in Nature.

3/2016

Mike and Elena presented research updates at the Avian Model Systems 9 conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

3/2016

Postdoc position(s) available!

3/2016

fairy swallowNew paper with the Yandell, Kardon, and Menke labs identifies the genetic and developmental basis of foot feathers in pigeons (with notes on chickens and dinosaurs!):

E.T. Domyan, Z. Kronenberg, C. Infante, A.I. Vickrey, S.A. Stringham, R. Bruders, M.W. Guernsey, S. Park, J. Payne, R. Beckstead, G. Kardon, D.B. Menke, M. Yandell, M.D. Shapiro. Molecular shifts in limb identity underlie development of feathered feet in two domestic avian species. eLife 5:e12115.

Get the open-access (free) paper online here.

See the press release here.

1/2016

Hannah van Hollebecke joined the lab as an undergraduate researcher. Welcome!

1/2016

Mike gave an update on our research at the Plant and Animal Genomes meeting in San Diego.

1/2016

We received a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates supplement to fund 2 projects in the lab!

12/2015

New collaborative paper with the Yandell and Elde labs:

Kronenberg Z, Osborne E, Cone K, Kennedy B, Domyan E, Shapiro MD, Elde NC, Yandell M. (2015) Wham: Identifying Structural Variants of Biological Consequence. PLoS Comput Biol 11: e1004572. Download the PDF here.

11/2015

Mike and Elena talked pigeon genetics with museum visitors at the Natural History Museum of Utah's behind the scenes weekend.

11/2015

Elena Boer joined the lab today as a postdoctoral fellow. Welcome!

11/2015

Mike and Anna gave presentations to high school students at the U's annual Science Day.

11/2015

We made our annual lab pilgrimage to collect samples at the Utah Pigeon Club Premier Show. Many thanks to all the hobbyists at the show for their enthusiastic support, assistance, and advice.

11/2015

Mike was interviewed by KUTV and KSL-TV about our pigeon research and the new Pigeons exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

10/2015

Mike gave an update on our research at the Latin American Society for Developmental Biology meeting in São Paulo, Brazil.

9/2015

Kim Cooper and Mike's editorial for the Developmental Dynamics Special Issue on Evolution and Morphological Diversity is now published.

9/2015

Mike finally caved and joined twitter: @MikeDShapiro

9/2015

english trumpeter pigeonThe new exhibit Pigeons launched at the Natural History Museum of Utah. The exhibit features some of our reasearch on pigeon genetics, and includes one of Darwin's own pigeon specimens. Check out the exhibit website here, and an article from the Salt Lake Tribune here. The exhibit runs through January 3, 2016.

9/2015

The Developmental Dynamics special issue on Evolution and Morphological Diversity, edited by Kim Cooper and Mike Shapiro, is now available online.

8/2015

Nora Brown (Molecular Biology Program) is doing a first-year research rotation in our lab.

8/2015

Congratulations to Sara Young, who was awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program internship.

8/2015

Congratulations to Tennyson George, who was awarded a Biology Undergraduate Research Program scholarship and will participate in the BioURP training program.

8/2015

Eric Domyan completed his postdoctoral fellowship and is now an Assistant Professor at Utah Valley University. Congratulations, Eric!

7/2015

Our NIH R01 grant to study developmental and genetic mechanisms of variation in vertebrates was funded!

7/2015

Eric, Rebecca, and Anna presented research updates at the Society for Developmental Biology annual meeting at Snowbird. Mike presented a poster on the Pigeonetics virtual pigeon breeder game. See the poster here (1.8 Mb png file), and play the game here.

7/2015

Sydney and Mike's book chapter on the genetic basis of variation in vertebrates was published:

S.A. Stringham, M.D. Shapiro. Microevolution and the genetic basis of vertebrate diversity: examples from teleost fishes. In K.P. Dial, N.H. Shubin, E.L. Brainerd (eds.), Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

6/2015

mustache pigeonOur new study of ringneck doves and pigeons shows that different mutations in the same gene are associated with head crests in both species.

Citation: A.I. Vickrey, E.T. Domyan, M.P. Horvath, M.D. Shapiro. Convergent evolution of head crests in two domesticated columbids is associated with different missense mutations in EphB2. Molecular Biology and Evolution. Download the pdf here (if link doesn't work, try here). Check out the press release here.

6/2015

Mike gave an invited talk at the Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists meeting. See the poster here.

5/2015

Anna Vickery rescued an injured feral pigeon from a second-story ledge: read about it on Instagram.

4/2015

Rebecca Bruders passed her qualifying exam and is now officially a Ph.D. Candidate. Congratuations, Rebecca!

3/2015

Rebecca Bruders was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue her research on pigeon genetics and developmental biology. Congratuations, Rebecca!

3/2015

Mike is a co-recipient (with Dr. Jennifer Heemstra, Chemistry) of the 2015 Myriad Genetics Award of Research Excellence.

3/2015

Anna Vickrey was admitted to the MCEB graduate program and will be joining the lab as a graduate student!

1/2015

Our colleage and collaborator Louisa Stark is the recipient of the 2015 Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education from Genetics Society of America! See the announcement here.

1/2015

Tennyson George and Sara Young joined the lab as undergraduate researchers.

 

Click here for our news archive

 

Who's visiting? (Since June 2013)