Neil Shubin

Interim Co-Director
Marine Biological Laboratory

Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

University of Chicago
1025 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Neil Shubin and Melina Hale are interim Co-Directors of the Marine Biological Laboratory. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago. It is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science.

At the University of Chicago, Shubin is the Robert R. Bensley Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, and Associate Dean for Academic Strategy in the Biological Sciences Division. As a Senior Advisor to the President of the University for the MBL affiliation, he has played a key role in supporting education and research programs at the MBL since its affiliation with the University in 2013.

In addition to being interim Co-Director, at the MBL Shubin has been involved with the Embryology Course, been a Friday night speaker, and is a former Whitman Scientist.

Shubin researches the evolutionary origin of anatomical features of animals, and has conducted fieldwork in Antarctica, Greenland, China, Canada, much of North America and Africa. He has published multiple articles in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleobiology, as well as many articles in Science and Nature. He has written two popular science books: the best-selling Your Inner Fish (2008), named best book of the year by the National Academy of Sciences and made into an Emmy-Award winning PBS television series, and The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body (2013). The evolution of limbs is Shubin's specific area of expertise. He uses his diverse fossil findings to devise hypotheses on how anatomical transformations occurred by way of genetic and morphogenetic processes.

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, Shubin was recently awarded the Addison Emery Verrill Medal from Yale University, the communication award from the National Academy of Sciences, and the Carl Gustaf Bernhard Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has been the recipient of a Miller Research Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He earned a Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1987 and joined the University of Chicago faculty as Chairman of Organismal Biology & Anatomy in 2001.