Michael S. Brewer, II, Ph.D.


Born in Amarillo, Texas and raised in the West Virginia town of New Haven on the banks of the Ohio River, I became interested in the natural world at a relatively young age.  While always being somewhat of a naturalist throughout childhood, my exposure to evolutionary theory did not come until college. 

While attending Marshall University, I began working in the lab of Dr. Victor Fet.  During my time as an undergraduate, I worked on the systematics of the European scorpion genus Euscorpius Thorell, 1876.  I continued in Dr. Fet’s lab and attained my master’s degree for discovering novel microanaomical structures and developing their usefulness in scorpion systematic research.

To further my training, I enrolled at East Carolina University after being accepted as a Ph.D. student by Dr. Jason Bond.  I studied the high-level systematics of the millipedes (Arthropoda: Myriapoda: Diplopoda) using a combination of molecular data from both the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes along with analyses of the historical trends in millipede taxonomy. 

Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley in Rosemary Gillespie’s lab.  I am investigating the genetic changes associated with several phenotypes in the adaptive radiation of Hawaiian Tetragnatha (Araneae: Tetragnathidae).

I am also participating in projects investigating transcriptome evolution of songbirds (Chordata: Aves: Passeriformes) utilizing second-generation sequencing technologies.

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All photos herein © Michael Brewer unless otherwise noted.