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Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
bar Matthew Leslie
    Matthew S. Leslie
    James Smithson Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Phone: (202)633-1366
  • Fax: (202)786-2832
  • E-mail: lesliem[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 108
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    1000 Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20004

Related Links

Matthew Leslie's personal website


Ph.D. (Marine Biology): University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2016
M.S. (Biological Oceanography): University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2011
B.S. (Zoology; Wildlife Ecology) Oklahoma State University, 2002

Research Interests

I investigate ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral processes in extant cetaceans using fieldwork, genetics, and specimen-based research. Specifically, I conduct field expeditions to collect in situ data and genomic material, and then use advanced DNA sequencing techniques to study patterns of population genetics, phylogeography, and phylogenetics. An important goal of my work is to contribute to conservation and management action by identifying cryptic diversity and clarifying taxonomy.

Here at the Smithsonian I am using DNA, morphology, fossils, and drones to study the evolution of balaenopterid whales.

Recent Publications

Leslie, M. S. and Morin, P. A. 2016. Using genome-wide SNPs to detect structure in high-diversity and low-divergence populations of severely impacted eastern tropical Pacific spinner (Stenella longirostris) and pantropical spotted dolphins (S. attenuata). Frontiers in Marine Science, 3:253. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00253

Leslie, M. S. 2014. The impact of phylogenetic nomenclature on the efficacy of the Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology, 29(1):69-77. DOI:10.1111/cobi.12375

Kershaw, F., Leslie, M. S., Collins, T., Mansur, R., Rubaiyat, M., Smith, B. D., Minton, G., Baldwin, R., ET AL. 2013. Population differentiation of 2 forms of Bryde's whales in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Journal of Heredity, 104(6):755-764. doi:10.1093/jhered/est057

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