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Research Areas

Hormonal regulation of development and innate behaviors; isolation, characterization and physiological actions of arthropod venom toxins.

We examine the molecular physiology of innate animal behaviors known as "fixed action patterns." Our focus is on ecdysis, a fixed action pattern performed by insects each time the old cuticle is shed. Neural signaling pathways underlying ecdysis behaviors arise de novo during each developmental stage following new gene expression under the control of steroid and peptide hormones. Our objective is to explain how behaviors are constructed through coordinated expression, and how they are released through hormonal and neurotransmitter signaling pathways in the brain. A second research area focuses on the biological chemistry of host-parasitoid interactions.


Awards Received

2006 Entomological Society of America, Recognition Award in Insect Physiology 
2002 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 
1981 Max Planck Stipendium 
1980 NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship
1978-79 DAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship





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