Michael Sandel, Ph.D.

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Michael Sandel Ph.D. Department of Biostatistics
Ryals Public Health Bldg, 514D
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35294
Phone: (205) 975-9263
Fax: (205) 975-2540
E-mail: msandel@uab.edu
Full CV

Dr. Sandel holds a B.Sc. in zoology from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from The University of Alabama. His dissertation research focused on methods to improve topological precision in phylogenetic analyses using mitochondrial sequence data, and on the conservation and historical biogeography of North American freshwater fishes. Dr. Sandel is also a technical sergeant in the Alabama Air National Guard, serving at the 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham. He holds an A.Sc. in Aerospace Technology.

Michael joined the Section on Statistical Genetics in 2012, and he is currently exploring the ways in which mitochondrial haplotype variation influences the utility of association tests for polygenic effects. He intends to use this information in a comparative genomic context, in order to develop quantitative models that improve our understanding of the inheritance and evolution of complex traits. His work has been supported by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Health.


  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • pre 2011
  1. Allison D, Antoine L, Ballinger S, Bamman M, Biga P, Darley-Usmar V, Fisher G, Gohlke J, Halade G, Hartman J, Hunter G, Messina J, Nagy T, Plaisance E, Roth K, Sandel M, Schwartz T, Smith D, Sweatt JD, Tollefsbol T, Watts S, Yang Y, Zhang J, Austad S. 2014. Aging and energetics’ ‘Top 40’ future research opportunities 2010-2013. F1000Research. 3:219.
  2. Sandel M, Rohde F, Harris P. 2014. Interspecific relationships and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in pygmy sunfishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 77: 166-176.
  3. Sandel M*, Dunham-Snary K, Westbrook D, Ballinger S. 2014. A method for assessing mitochondrial bioenergetics in whole white adipose tissues. Redox Biology. 2(14): 656-660. *Shared first authorship with Dunham-Snary.
  4. Harris PM, Hubbard GK, and Sandel M. 2014. Catostomidae (book chapter). pp. 451-502. In: Freshwater Fishes of North America: Volume 1: Petromyzontidae to Catostomidae. M Warren and BM Burr, eds. John Hopkins Press.
  1. Bagley J, Sandel M, Wooten J, Travis J, de Lourdes Lozano-Vilano M, Johnson J. 2013. Testing biogeographic hypotheses of Plio-Pleistocene history and diversification along the North American Gulf-Atlantic Coastal Plain in least killifish (Heterandria formosa). BMC Evolutionary Biology.13: 223.
  1. Makowsky R, Yan Q, Wiener HW, Sandel M, Aissani B, Tiwari HK, Shrestha S. 2012. The Utility of Mitochondrial and Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Data to Improve Correction for Population Stratification. Frontiers in Genetics. 3:301. [PMID: 23267368] [PMCID: PMC3527715]
  2. Near TJ, Sandel M, Kuhn K, Unmack PJ, Wainwright PC, Smith WL. Nuclear gene-inferred phylogenies resolve the relationships of the enigmatic pygmy sunfishes, Elassoma (Teleostei: Percomorpha). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2012 May;63(2):388-95. [PMID: 22293156]
  1. Sandel M. Elassoma alabamae: Imperiled Species Conservation Plans. 2011. Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings.
  1. Sandel M. The Desperate Dozen: Elassoma alabamae (Mayden 1993). Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings. 2009 52(1):15.
  2. Sandel M, Harris PM. Threatened Fishes of the World: Elassoma boehlkei (Rohde and Arndt, 1987). Environmental Biology of Fishes. 2007 Vol. 78(4): 289-290.
  3. Sandel M, Harris PM. Threatened Fishes of the World: Elassoma okatie (Rohde and Arndt, 1987). Environmental Biology of Fishes. 2007 Vol. 80(4): 487-488.


Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
The trainee's projects are supported by Grant Number 5T32HL072757 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Years: 2012 - 2015
Primary Co-Mentors: Scott W. Ballinger, Ph.D. and Hemant Tiwari, PhD
Secondary Mentor: Nianjun Liu, Ph.D.
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL