Drosophila faculty

William J. Etges wetges at COMP.UARK.EDU
Fri Jun 16 14:45:43 EST 1995


At 12:07 PM 16/6/95 -0700, Alan C. Christensen, Ph.D. wrote:
>In discussions of faculty hiring priorities, no doubt many of you have
>heard comments such as "We already have enough Drosophila labs here".
>Naturally, we all realize that Drosophila is not a field but an organism,
>and that Drosophilists come in an impressive array of fields, but our less
>enlightened colleagues don't often realize that (for example) a person
>working on transcription factors in Drosophila and a person doing
>population genetics with Drosophila are not actually working on the same
>thing, and that a developmental geneticist working on Drosophila would
>actually broaden and strengthen a Department rather than being redundant.
>
>So my question is simple:  What arguments have been successfully used to
>persuade a diverse group of biologists (including ecologists,
>parasitologists, plant biochemists, etc.etc.) that another Drosophila
>faculty hire is actually a good idea?
>
>I would also like to collect information on various Departments around the
>U.S. and list how many of the faculty work on Drosophila, in order to
>demonstrate that a group of 3 or more P.I.s is actually healthy.
>
>Please e-mail responses to me.  If anyone is also interested in knowing
>what the responses are I can share them or post a compilation.


Alan,
                Perhaps I can help by describing what its like to be the
ONLY Drosophila person on a faculty. Imagine running your lab without a
core of students and faculty working on flies: I must find the manpower and
resources to wash glassware, make food, change stocks etc. This means if I
can find a good work-study student, the department will pay for him/her,
and things are OK. Otherwise, my graduate and undergraduate students must
pitch in. So far, the department has not allocated the funds to pay for a
part-time lab tech just for me.  It is mysterious to me how anyone could
argue for or against someone based on the organism they work on - surely
the decision must be made on the person's qualifications, the department's
perceived teaching needs, etc.  Seems to me that there is certainly a large
advantage in having a group of people working on flies in the same
department, even if they are asking different questions.

                By the way, I work primarily on ecological genetics and
evolution of cactophilic Drosophila, primarily D. mojavensis.

Bill

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
William J. Etges
Department of Biological Sciences
SCEN 629
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701  USA
wetges at comp.uark.edu
voice: (501) 575-6358
FAX   (501) 575-4010

 I changed her oil, she changed my life.
................title of a country and western song.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------





More information about the Dros mailing list