Brad Shaffer

Brad in Australia, contemplating turtles

I’ve been a professor at three UC campuses, where I’ve pursued and cultivated my lifelong interests in evolutionary biology, ecology and conservation biology, primarily of amphibians and reptiles. Our lab is a combination of eclectic interests (natural history, cutting edge genomics, urban ecology, and landscape ecology) and a relatively sharp focus on reptiles and amphibians. Our work over the last decade has included comparative phylogeography of amphibians and reptiles in California and the central U.S., systematics of freshwater turtles and tortoises in Australia, California, and the rest of the globe, and conservation genetics of endangered California amphibians and reptiles. Recently, I’ve been focusing more and more attention on California, including Southern California, our (relatively new) home base. As a PI at one of the major public research institutions in the US, my goal is to engage students and postdoctoral fellows, try to push the leading edge in the use of DNA technologies for conservation and basic evolution and ecology, and provide the resources needed for our team to follow their interests, wherever that may take them.

I am a Distinguished Professor at UCLA in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Institute of Environment and Sustainability. I came from UC Davis in early 2012 to be the founding Director of the UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, and more recently took over as Director of the Stunt Ranch Reserve in the Santa Monica Mountains. In late 2019, I became the Director and PI of the California Conservation Genomics Project, a state-funded initiative to produce the most comprehensive, multispecies, genomic data set ever assembled to help manage regional biodiversity.

For more information, see my CV or contact me at