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Lynn M. Riddiford Wins Reed’s 2011 Vollum Award


Lynn M. Riddiford is the 2011 recipient of Reed’s Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology.  Awardees are selected for their the perseverance, fresh approach to problem solving, and creative imagination, all hallmarks of Howard Vollum's career.


Portland, Ore (August 19, 2011)--
Lynn M. Riddiford is the 2011 recipient of Reed’s Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology. Riddiford is currently a senior resident fellow at the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Riddiford has also served as a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, the Royal Entomological Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, and the University of Cambridge. In 1966, Riddiford became the first female assistant professor of biology at Harvard University.

Riddiford will accept the award at Reed College's convocation ceremony on August 24. Awardees are selected for their the perseverance, fresh approach to problem solving, and creative imagination, all hallmarks of Howard Vollum's career. Vollum provided major philanthropic support to Reed throughout his life after he graduated from Reed in 1936 with a degree in physics. For his senior thesis project, Vollum built an oscilloscope; he later went on to cofound Tektronix, which revolutionized oscilloscope design and became a world leader in test, measurement, and monitoring technology.

Lynn Riddiford studies the hormonal control of insect growth, molting, and metamorphosis, particularly the roles of insect molting hormones and juvenile hormone. She is also interested in the hormonal basis of metamorphic and reproductive behaviors. Her work has been used in the creation of an insect growth regulator, which is used in mosquito and flea control as well agricultural pest management.

While still in high school in Illinois, Riddiford’s interest in biology led to summer research programs some 1,500 miles away at the Roscoe B. Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. It was in these programs that she developed a curiosity for insect physiology. Riddiford studied biology as an undergraduate at Radcliffe College and received her PhD from Cornell University. She was a professor of biology at Harvard. In 1973, after working at Harvard, she moved to the University of Washington where she was named the first Virginia and Prentice Bloedel Professor of Biology.

In 2006, the Entomological Society of America held a symposium in Riddiford’s honor. The international scope of her work was reflected in the slate of speakers, which included representation from Asia, Europe, and South America. She has received the Entomological Society of America (ESA) Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology (1997); the Gregor J. Mendel Honorary Medal for Merit in the Biological Sciences (1998); and election into the National Academy of Sciences (2009).