Having Fun!

My husband and I like to travel and enjoy the outdoors.  These pictures were taken boating with the manatees at Crystal River in Florida, in Hawaii (scuba diving at Makaha), and seeing the sites in Egypt.

In 2011 I made the move from Chicago to Sioux Falls, SD where I am working as an Assistant Professor teaching developmental biology at Augustana College. Well, we are well into our fourth SD winter. With the exception of that crazy ice storm last year it has not been much worse than Chicago! And, so far at least, this year has been cold but not intolerable. Especially since we put in that nice gas fireplace in the basement.

One of the best parts of moving north has been that I have gained a real appreciation for the “seasons”.  People asked me for years in Florida “Don’t you miss not having seasons?” and until fairly recently I didn’t even know that I had no idea what they were talking about. I have a new-found appreciation of the seasons and celebrate summers as if I had never seen one before. It is a marvelous thing when the plants come up overnight and the air is heavy with all of the growth. We all emerge from heavy coats and too much work to appreciate the world again.

I was in Chicago on a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Chicago where I was privileged to work with Marty Kreitman and  all my good buddies in the “Kreitnitz Lab”. I am continuing my research into the genetics of egg size in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster (and some of its close relatives) here at Augustana (Go Vikings!).   I have recently been using antibodies to visualize earliest stages of organogenesis in the fruit fly ovary in strains selected for especially large eggs. The results are intriguing but too preliminary to share here in detail. I have also generated lines of D. mel with large egg sizes by raising caged populations in cold temperature incubators for the same type of analysis.  In 2012 two students here at Augie (Brooke Woelber and Nodia Lippert) began looking at some interesting aspects of their biology. And in 2013 Ryta Wodzinski used DAM2 (Drosophila Activity Monitors) to examine circadian rhythms in these cold-adapted flies relative to their warm-temp controls. Click on the Current Research button up top to read more about it. 


Use the navigation buttons at the upper left if you'd like to find out about my work, and current research opportunities.