Michael Nachman

Professor, Integrative Biology and Director, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
Dept of Integrative Biology
510 642-1792
Research Expertise and Interest
population genetics, evolution, genomics, mammalian evolution
Research Description


Michael Nachman and the members of his lab study population, evolutionary, and ecological genetics and genomics. We are broadly interested in the genetic basis of evolutionary change, including the genetics of adaptation and the genetic basis of speciation. Most of our work is on mammals with a particular emphasis on humans and mice.  Major current projects include: (1) environmental adaptation in introduced populations of house mice across the Americas, (2) the genetic basis of reproductive isolation between closely related lineages, and (3) the genetic basis of color variation in desert rodents.  We use a variety of approaches including field work, controlled crosses in the laboratory, genomic tools, molecular biological approaches, and computational analysis of large datasets.


In the News

September 16, 2014

Human faces are so variable because we evolved to look unique

Why are human faces so variable compared to other animals? Berkeley biologists Michael Nachman & Michael Sheehan analyzed human faces and the genes that code for them and found a variability that could only be explained by selection for uniqueness, probably because of the importance of social interactions in human relationships and the need for all of us to be recognizable.