UI's Robinson to deliver Center for Advanced Study lecture

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois entomologist Gene Robinson will deliver the Center for Advanced Study's 23rd annual lecture next week.

The center's lecture series features the university's most distinguished scholars. Robinson is the Swanlund Chair of entomology and director of the UI's Institute for Genomic Biology. His talk will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 in the Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Drive, U. It is free and open to the public.

Using the Western honey bee as his principal model system, Robinson has become a pioneer in the study of how genes, hormones and neurochemicals influence the evolution of social behavior. He leads the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium and the Illinois Bee Research Facility.

In his lecture, "Me to We: Searching for the Genetic Roots of Sociality," Robinson will show how researchers who have used genomics to study the social life of insects in molecular terms have documented mechanisms that regulate selfish behavior. Scientists also have documented connections between socially responsive genomes and human health.

Robinson has received numerous awards throughout his career: 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 UI's 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.

More information is available at http://www.cas.illinois.edu.

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