Michael Sorenson

Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty/Natural Sciences

  • Office 5 Cummington Street
  • Phone 617-353-2432
  • Education BA, Luther College
    PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Michael Sorenson is the Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty, Natural Sciences and a professor of biology.

His research interests are primarily in the behavioral and evolutionary ecology and population genetics/genomics of brood parasitic birds (species that reproduce only by parsitizing the parental care behavior of other species). His recent work has focused on the brood parasitic indigobirds (Vidua spp.) of Africa, in which learning and mimicry of host songs facilitates an evolutionary process of speciation by host shift, and on the speciation genomics of a group of 12 Lonchura munia species in Papua New Guinea and northern Australia that represent an extraordinary example of rapid evolutionary diversification. Together with colleagues, Mike has also recently examined the genetic basis of host specific adaptation in several different groups of brood parasitic birds, and worked on the evolutionary ecology of bat populations, including those affected by white-nose syndrome, an emerging fungal pathogen that has devastated bat populations in eastern North America.