wrote for the last newsletter, my laboratory is busy studying the hormonal regulation of
nervous system development in insects. As before, we continue to rear tobacco hornworms
(not only for our own research, but also for the greater good of children all over
Champaign County), and continue to collaborate with Gene Robinson on studies of honey bee
brains and behavior. This work is exciting, and I am happy to report that Gene Robinson
and I have just received funding for a third time from the National Science Foundation for
our collaborative efforts.
Life outside the lab became more interesting with the
arrival of my second son, Nate, on New Years Eve 1996. Nate and I left the rest of
the family at home and enjoyed a sabbatical visit to the University of Massachusetts fall
semester 1997, during which time I took care to teach Nate the word "hill" and
also to learn some cell culture techniques in the laboratory of Larry Schwartz in the
Department of Biological Sciences. Upon my return I immediately plunged into teaching
Insect Physiology, and in less than a semester was able to erase completely any sense of
being thoughtful, scholarly, and up-to-date with the literature.
I take pride in having made Insect Physiology a
writing-centered course, and Ive also managed to develop a website that students in
Introductory Animal Biology find useful. Two current challenges are designing (with Evan
DeLucia in Plant Biology) a new 100-level Integrative Biology course and serving as
Director of the UIUC Howard Hughes Program for Undergraduate Education in the Life
Sciences. Current lab members are a postdoctoral research associate, Elizabeth Capaldi,
and graduate students Sarah Farris, Kym Rosiak, Joe Sullivan, and Chiou-Miin Wang.