Dr. John Demboski is an evolutionary biologist who studies how different processes—abiotic and biotic—contribute to diversity in western North American mammals. He combines fieldwork and genetics to look into the basic questions about how and why species diverge and occur where they do. Though John has worked on a variety of small mammals, his primary focus over the last 20 years has been on chipmunks and shrews. He has conducted fieldwork in all the western states and across the world, including Canada, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Russia. John was born in Hawaii and lived all over the United States before heading off to Purdue University for his BS. An opportunity to volunteer behind the scenes at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and then participate in an expedition to the Philippines spurred him to the Far North where he received his PhD at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During that time, he worked extensively in the University of Alaska Museum’s mammal collections. After postdoctoral positions at the University of Idaho and Louisiana State University, John was an assistant professor at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He then landed at the Museum where he has been curator of mammals since 2006. During his time in Denver, he has more than doubled the size of the mammal collections and started new collections in parasites and frozen tissues.
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