Michael Stephen Gaines

Assistant Provost, Pre-Health Advising and Mentoring
Assistant Provost, Undergraduate Research and Community Outreach

(305) 284-5058
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Michael Gaines is assistant provost of undergraduate research and community outreach. Dr. Gaines is director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Education Program. The major goal of the program is to increase the number of disadvantaged students in biomedical research careers. He also directs an NIH Bridge Program between the University of Miami and Miami-Dade College. Its aim is to increase the number of community college students who are underrepresented minorities in the sciences transferring to research universities and completing baccalaureate degrees in biomedical fields.

Research Interests

My current research interests include the effect of habitat fragmentation on small mammal populations; I am interested in the effects of habitat patchiness on source-sink dynamics and the genetic structuring of populations, the evolution of mating systems in mammals using techniques in molecular genetics, and conservation genetics of threatened and endangered mammalian species. I am currently studying the effects of habitat fragmentation on small mammal populations on hammock islands in the Florida Everglades, genetic variation in the silver rice rat (Oryzomys argentatus) in the Florida Keys.

Teaching Interests

At the undergraduate level, I teach introductory biology, HHMI experimental lab, research ethics, and experimental design. At the graduate level, I teach a course in research design. My philosophy about teaching is that students at all levels need to be active participants in their own learning and not passive observers. A colleague of mine, Dave Janos, and I developed a new HHMI introductory biology lab where first-year students work in small groups alongside a faculty member doing a research project. This is quintessential active learning.

Honors & Acknowledgements

NIH, 9/2014 - 8/2019, Miami Dade College-University of Miami Bridge Program. (PI)
HHMI, 9/2006 - 8/2010 & 8/2014-8/2109, Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Program. (PI) The goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities at the undergraduate level in the biological sciences at the University of Miami.
HHMI, 8/2010-9/2015. NEXUS programs (PI)
NSF, 4/2013-5.2017. Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program at the University of Miami (PI).
NIH/NIGMS, 9/2005 - 2/2008 Partnership to Increase Minorities in Biomedicine. (PI)
NSF, 1/06 - 12/08 Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. (Co-PI)
NSF, 2/06 - 1/08 Peer-Led Team Learning. (Co-PI)
USGS, 1/06 - 12//07 Development of Capability of Applying and Testing Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) Models for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP). (PI)
NPS, 1/06 - 12/07 Inventory of Small Mammals at Canaveral National Seashore.
NIH/NIGMS, 4/06 - 3/10 Initiative for Minority Student Development.

LIST OF SPECIALTIES: Conservation and Restoration Biology | Evolutionary Biology | Tropical Biology


De Villiers, R., Plantan, T. and M. Gaines "The incorporation of the USA ‘Science Made Sensible’ program in South African primary schools: a cross-cultural appeal of science" 239-5820 (Education as Change. 2016).

Borrego, N. and M. Gaines "Social carnivores outperform asocial carnivores on an innovative problem" 21-6114 (Animal Behaviour. 2016).