Beth Shapiro wants to see into the past and visualize evolution in action. Shapiro and her team are improving the technical efficiency of DNA extraction from poorly preserved organismal remains. This will facilitate the use of paleogenomic data to reconstruct ecosystems and link ancient genotypes to ancient phenotypes. Understanding such data in the context of population genomics and paleoecology would broaden perspectives on how organisms change over geological time scales in response to shifts in climate, habitat, and other external factors. This research could enable scientists to predict and prepare for imminent global change.