University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Lessons from the Honey Bee

Gene E. Robinson, Scholar of Behavior in Social Insects, to Speak at UCR

2007 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture takes place today

(December 7, 2007)

Gene E. Robinson is the G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Gene E. Robinson is the G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Gene E. Robinson, an eminent entomologist and pioneer of the application of genomics to the study of social behavior, will give the 2007 Alfred M. Boyce Lecture at UC Riverside.

Free and open to the public, the lecture, entitled “Understanding the Relationship Between Genes and Social Behavior: Lessons from the Honey Bee,” will take place at 4 p.m., Dec. 7, 2007, in Engineering II, room 138. A reception will follow the lecture at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Department of Entomology.

Robinson is the G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also is the director of the Neuroscience Program on that campus, theme leader at the Institute for Genomic Biology, and a professor of entomology with affiliate appointments in the Beckman Institute of Science and Technology and the Departments of Cell & Developmental Biology, Animal Biology, and Political Science.

The author or co-author of nearly 200 publications, Robinson has elucidated pheromone, endocrine, neural, and molecular mechanisms of social behavior. He also spearheaded the effort to gain approval from the National Institutes of Health for the sequencing of the honey bee genome.

Robinson’s many honors include University Scholar; Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships; fellow of the Animal Behavior Society; and membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as well as the National Academy of Sciences.

The honey bee, whose rich social life is uniquely amenable to experimentation, is the primary study organism of Robinson’s research. Considered a model organism for studying human health issues such as immunity, allergic reaction, and mental health, the honey bee also attracts the attention of biologists interested in its social instincts and behavioral traits.

The Boyce lectures were instituted in 1977 and honor Alfred M. Boyce (1901-1997), one of the world's leading authorities on insects and mites that attack citrus and walnuts. Boyce served as the director of the UCR Citrus Experiment Station, first dean of the College of Agriculture, and assistant director of the statewide Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Department of Entomology at UCR sponsors the Boyce lectures. For more information on this year’s lecture, call 951-827-5294.

Parking costs $6 for the day; $5 after 4 p.m. Permits are available at the information kiosks at the entrances to campus.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links