Research Interests

My research over the years on molting and metamorphosis in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, was critical for its serving as a model for the endocrine regulation of post-embryonic development of insects. One major theme has been to understand how juvenile hormone (JH) prevents the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a moth and how it regulates embryogenesis. We also have contributed to the application of JH as an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) currently used in mosquito and flea control and some integrated pest management schemes for agricultural lepidopteran pests. Hormones and behavior in Lepidoptera and sex pheromone reception were other early themes in my research. At Janelia, I studied the hormonal regulation of neurodevelopment and behavior in Drosophila. Presently, at Friday Harbor Laboratories, I am continuing to study the role of JH in metamorphosis of the Drosophila nervous system and studying the regulation of metamorphosis in Crustacea. Jim Truman and I are continuing our collaboration on the evolution of metamorphosis. We are particularly interested in how the hormonal control of embryonic development in ancestral insects may have driven the evolution of complete metamorphosis. Currently, we are studying the effects of JH on embryonic and early nymphal development of silverfish.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology