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Photo: John Weinstein/The Field Museum

Professor of Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago

American Academy Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2007

Neil Shubin is chairman of the department of anatomy at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as associate dean in the Medical School. His research has led to a revolutionary synthesis of expeditionary paleontology, developmental genetics, and genomics. Shubin has found new fossils that have altered the way researchers think about many of the key transitions in evolution: from the reptile-mammal transition, the water-land transformation, and the origin of frogs, salamanders, turtles, and flying reptiles.


Shubin has guided numerous research expeditions to Greenland, the High Arctic of Canada, Argentina, China, Morocco, Nova Scotia, and the deserts of the US. These expeditions have brought new insights into the origin of major groups of vertebrates and the discovery of new fossils, and have provided fundamental data to suggest genetic mechanisms for parallel evolution and homology.


Shubin is the author of several groundbreaking scientific papers, including over 20 in the journals Science and Nature. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Miller Research Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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