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UT Austin biology professor receives honor for book on insect flight

The American Association of Publishers (AAP) has awarded its 2000 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Award in biological sciences to a book on insect flight by Dr. Robert Dudley, an associate professor of biology at The University of Texas at Austin.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The American Association of Publishers (AAP) has awarded its 2000 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Award in biological sciences to a book on insect flight by Dr. Robert Dudley, an associate professor of biology at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Biomechanics of Insect Flight: Form, Function, Evolution (Princeton University Press, 1999) is the first comprehensive explanation of how insects fly, relating the biomechanics of flight to insect ecology and evolution. It has been recognized for its scholarly contributions, as well as its editorial, design and production standards.

AAP is the principal trade association of the book publishing industry. Its Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP), whose members publish materials produced and used by scholars and professionals, presented the 2000 awards during its annual conference in February in Washington, D.C.

“I used high speed photography and electromyography — looking at what the muscles are doing electrically,” said Dudley, who teaches in the UT Austin College of Natural Science’s section of integrative biology. Dudley worked on the book for five years.

“I also studied the aerodynamics of flight, measured metabolism, looked at the evolution of flight and did field work on insect and hummingbird flight in the tropics,” he said.

“Robert (Dudley) provided us with color images of insects that really add to the book, and he also supplied 19th-century drawings of insect anatomy that we incorporated,” said Dr. Sam Elworthy, science editor at Princeton University Press. “The book has a really nice, unified feel to it.”

Dudley is the author of numerous articles on the biomechanics of insect flight and also is a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama. The Biomechanics of Insect Flight: Form, Function, Evolution is his first book.

For more information, contact: Dr. Robert Dudley (512) 471-3499, or see his Web site at:

http://www.biosci.utexas.edu/IB/faculty/DUDLEY.HTM

For colorful photos of insects in flight, see:

www.utexas.edu/admin/opa/news/01newsreleases/nr_200102/dudley2.html