Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.


Cedric Feschotte, professor, molecular biology and genetics

Academic focus: Genome biology and evolution, mobile DNA, endogenous viruses

Previous positions: professor, Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine.

Academic background: B.Sc., Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France, 1996; Ph.D. Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris, France, 2001

Last book read: “Le Horla,” by Guy de Maupassant (1887); “Thelonious Monk, The Life and Times of an American Original,” by Robin DG Kelley (2010)

What do you do when not working? Traveling and hiking with family; playing, listening, collecting music (mostly jazz); enjoys dangerous rides: skateboard, snowboard, mountain bike, motorcycle

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Connecting the dots. Exploring uncharted territories of our own genetic material, the “dark matter” of the genome. The grin of my trainees in those eureka moments. Sharing my passion for the living world and all of its evolutionary oddities.  

Current research projects? We do science that sounds like science fiction, but really is science! For instance, we study human genes that were stolen from selfish genetic elements like viruses. When and how did that happen? What kind of benefits do these virus-derived genes bring to us?

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching? Anything related to evolution and genetics, at any level!

What most excites you about Cornell CALS? The breadth of life sciences and the diversity of organisms studied within CALS are phenomenal and I really dig that.  

► Meet all our new faculty

Keep Exploring



Eventually, these findings could lead to a reliable CRISPR-Cas system that allows scientists to insert larger cargoes of genetic information into cells with more precision than current techniques allow, with far-reaching implications for...
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Biology
A false color satellite image.


The East Africa study area – including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – has experienced deforestation and also contains many large-scale land restoration and land-based climate mitigation programs, but lacks systems for quantifying...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Environment