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About Geffrey F. Stopper

Geffrey Stopper, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Biology in the College of Arts & Sciences at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Stopper has broad research interests, but his research tends to focus on topics that fall within the field of evolutionary biology.

Developmental Evolution of Tetrapod Limbs
The main thread of Dr. Stopper’s research is in developmental evolutionary biology, specifically focusing on how changes in genes and the interactions between genes and gene products result in evolutionary change in the development of morphology. Currently Dr. Stopper most often approaches these questions within the context of the evolutionary transition from fin to limb, and the subsequent radiation into the diverse limb morphologies found in land animals. This means that work in his lab usually involves organismal biology in the form of raising animals and performing manipulations to developing embryos or larvae and observing the consequences of those manipulations. It also involves molecular work in the form of DNA & RNA isolation, PCR, RTPCR, and other related technologies.
Evolution in the Domestication of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Dr. Stopper is also pursuing research questions related to the domestication and evolution of the yeast used in breadmaking, winemaking, and beer brewing – Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The domestication of this species appears to have involved many phenotypic changes from the wild ancestors, and has resulted in a great diversification to different types, not unlike the diversification to the regional and varied types found in more familiar domesticated species like cats, dogs, and agricultural animals. This research is carried out in collaboration with Sacred Heart’s Dr. Kirk Bartholomew. We are currently investigating 1) the relationships of domesticated yeast strains to better understand their historical pattern of domestication and 2) the phenotypic changes that occurred during yeast domestication and diversification, and the molecular changes underlying these phenotypic changes.


August 2014 - Present Associate Professor Biology, Sacred Heart University Biology Department
September 2008 - August 2014 Assistant Professor Biology, Sacred Heart University Biology Department

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Tenure Award May 7, 2014
  • Sacred Heart University Richard and Barbara Naclerio Faculty Scholars Program Grant Award (2013)
  • Hartwick College Outstanding Young Alumnus Award (2009)
  • The Company of Biologists “Development” Traveling Fellowship (2004)
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Grant in Aid of Research (2003)
  • NIH, Yale University Developmental Biology Training Grant, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (2000-2003)


April 2007 - August 2008 Post-Doctoral Research Scientist in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics, The Rothberg Institute for Childhood Diseases, Guilford, CT
May 2007 Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
May 2003 M.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
May 2000 B.A. in Biology, Minor in Music, Hartwick College

Contact Information

Biology Department
Academic Bldg SC 217A
College of Arts and Sciences


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