CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Gene E. Robinson, the Swanlund Chair of entomology and the director of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, has been selected to deliver the Center for Advanced Study's 23rd Annual Lecture, continuing the center's tradition of showcasing the university's most distinguished scholars. Robinson's lecture, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Spurlock Museum on campus, is free and open to the public.
Robinson pioneered the study of how genes, hormones and neurochemicals influence the evolution of social behavior, using the Western honey bee as his principal model system. He leads the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium and the Illinois Bee Research Facility.
In his lecture, titled "Me to We: Searching for the Genetic Roots of Sociality," Robinson will use the honey bee and related species to demonstrate how researchers who have used genomics to study the social life of insects in molecular terms have documented mechanisms that regulate selfish behavior. They also have documented connections between socially responsive genomes and human health.
Robinson has received Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, a National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award, and the Animal Behavior Society's 2013 Distinguished Animal Behaviorist award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the Entomological Society of America. He has written or co-written more than 250 publications, and has been named a University Scholar and a G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology.
The Center for Advanced Study supports and promotes exemplary scholarship in all areas of knowledge at the university. Top professors become permanent members of CAS through nomination and a rigorous election process. Robinson has been a member since 2009.
Spurlock Museum is at 600 S. Gregory Drive, Urbana.
For more information, visit cas.illinois.edu.