My research focuses on the genetics of polyploid plants.
I enjoy many aspects of my job but my favorite thing to do is to take a class concept and try to figure out a way to make it more fun to teach and/or more interactive for the students. This can involve developing new worksheets or on-line activities, drawing cartoons for classroom use, identifying a great example from the literature, etc. This process of evaluation and redesign helps keep me engaged in my teaching and, I hope, improves student learning and classroom experience.
My family subscribed to The New Yorker magazine when I was young so I became very familiar with single-panel cartoons. My favorite cartoonists are George Booth and Roz Chast (and more recently, Ed Steed). Like many cartoonist I was influenced by Peanuts and Charles Schultz. My childhood Peanuts collection included 152 books...mostly purchased at library sales and garage sales. Here's the peanuts cartoon that was published on my birthday in 1969.
I started drawing biology cartoons during graduate school at the University of Wisconsin and was lucky enough to find some groups interested in publishing them. You can find a large archive of my lab-related cartoons at Promega's PubHub.
I usually draw the cartoons by hand, scan them, then color them using photoshop.