Susan Rankin

Title: Professor of Biology and Neuroscience
Primary Department: Biology
Other Programs: Neuroscience
Degrees: B.A., Ph.D., University of Texas (Austin)

Phone: (814) 332-5375
Office Location: Steffee Hall B303

Susan received a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Susan teaches Animal Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, Introductory Biology, Physiological Mechanisms of Behaviors/Reproduction, and a course for non-science majors entitled “Insects and Humans”.

My overall objective is to explore the hormonal regulation of egg development and the behaviors that accompany reproduction.  I’ve used a number of crustacean and insect systems to look at these biological phenomena.  In fact, insects have been widely used as model systems to study basic mechanisms of hormone action and the physiological bases of specific behaviors.  Moreover, identification of neuropeptides that regulate hormone production (such as the recently described allatostatins) are essential to the development of biorational pesticides.  (In fact, some of my work has been integrated into currently marketed pesticides).

Students in my laboratory typically utilize behavioral observations, coupled with manipulations of hormone levels, microsurgery, tissue culture, and radiochemical or immunological identification and quantification of various hormones.

Recent comps performed in my lab include the following:

  • “Detection of pheromones in the ringlegged earwig, Euborellia annulipes”
  • “Female choice and nuptial feeding in the cricket,  Oeocanthus nigricornis”
  • “Male reproductive tract myogenic activity and the effects of selected neuropeptides in earwigs”
  • “Effects of adipokinetic hormone on fat body size and on the expression of maternal care in the earwig, Euborellia annulipes”
  • “Effects of diet reproduction, juvenile hormone production,  and salivary gland sizes in an earwig”
  • “Effects of juvenile hormone III on mating and maternal behaviors in an earwig”
  • “Nest and clutch recognition in a species of earwig”
  • “Esterase activity and the effects of manipulated levels of juvenile hormone on embryogenesis”