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 snow season is, indeed, underway. I am working as an Assistant Professor teaching developmental biology at Augustana University. We are well into our fifth SD winter. With the exception of that crazy ice storm a couple of years ago, it has not been much worse than Chicago! And, so far at least, we've had above average temperatures.


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”. They have all spread far and wide by now, but I am still in touch with many. 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!).   Students Clayton Busch, Anna Cooper, Samantha Johnson, Deeksha Mohan, and Caden Quintanilla have been using antibodies to visualize the earliest stages of organogenesis in the fruit fly ovary in strains selected for especially large eggs. Some of the results regarding these large-egg lines are in our MBE paper that came out in 2015 with first author Aashish Jha.  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. I am very interested in extending all of these projects during the summer of 2016. 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.