Sharlene Santana

Associate Professor, Department of Biology,
Curator of Mammals, Burke Museum

I was born and grew up in the tropics, and have always been curious about nature. This led me to pursue a career as an evolutionary biologist, and to focus my research on understanding the mechanisms that lead to differences in phenotypic and lineage diversity across groups of mammals. As an integrative biologist, my research approaches this topic by examining three fundamental aspects of the ecology and evolution of biological systems: (1) lineage diversification, (2) phenotypic diversification, and (3) the roles of morphological and behavioral evolution on organismal performance.

The long-term goal of my research is to understand the evolutionary dynamics among behavior, morphology and function, and their role in shaping species’ ecologies and patterns of lineage diversification.  I strive to use innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to investigate evolutionary and ecomorphological hypotheses, and my lab combines techniques and knowledge from multiple disciplines, including comparative anatomy, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, engineering, physics, and geography.

Academic positions and education

2017-present: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington.

2012-present: Curator of Mammals, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington.

2012-2017: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology,  University of Washington.

2010-2012: Postdoctoral Fellow. Institute for Society and Genetics. University of California Los Angeles.

2005-2010: Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. University of Massachusetts Amherst.

2004: Licenciatura en Biología. Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela.

Contact: ssantana”at”uw”dot”edu; Twitter: @SESantanaM