Michael J. Vendrasco
Institute for Crustal Studies
University of California
Santa Barbara, California, 93106
Current address: Department of Biological Science
California State University Fullerton
P.O. Box 6850
Fullerton, California 92834-6850

Michael Vendrasco received his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999 (adviser: Bruce Runnegar), having specialized in the early evolution of chitons. Afterwards, he held a teaching position at UCLA until 2005. He came back to research in earnest at around that time and spent 2005-2007 as a post-doctoral researcher working with Susannah Porter at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since then he has held a teaching position at the California State University at Fullerton and is a Research Associate at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In 2009 he served as President of the Western Society of Malacologists. In the last few years Vendrasco has published on shell microstructures in ancient molluscs and the earliest history of chitons. Plus he has an accepted manuscript on the Late Cenozoic adaptive radiation of chitons in the Temperate Eastern Pacific. His ongoing and nascent research endeavors at this time include: (1) description of a new chiton assemblage from the Permian Capitan Reef of Texas (with Dick Hoare); (2) shell microstructures (including nacre) in Ordovician molluscs (with Bill Montante, Steven Baumann, and Antonio Checa); (3) Ordovician chitons from North America (with John Pojeta as lead author); (4) homology of the periostracum and shell of chitons with those of other molluscs (with Antonio Checa); (5) testing the strength and energetic expense of nacre; and (6) documenting trends in molluscan shell microstructures through the Mesozoic Era (with Antonio Checa).