Robert as a child.
Dr. Robert B. Suter is a professor of biology at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Robert's favorite book as a kid was Charlotte's Web. Now he has pet fish, three cats, six chickens, and an iguana. His hobby is photography.
Some thoughts from Robert:
My mother says that by the time I was 2 years old, I was already turning over every log and rock. I spent lots of time at the edges of ponds and streams, watching and catching everything that moved. I continue to be fascinated by the way things work--not only the ways of insects and spiders but also how disk drives and electronic watches work. So designing and building the instruments I use in my research also excites me.
While conducting my research, one of the neatest things I came to realize was that very small animals live in a world we cannot experience--where things like gravity and momentum don't make much difference. But surface forces, like surface tension, do matter.
I've had countless disasters and goof-ups in my research! One time a large fishing spider, which is also a water-walker, climbed up my arm. This caused me to scream and dance! (I'm fearful of the big spiders.)
Robert's advice to young investigators?: Follow what intrigues you--as a hobby or your life's work.
Insect photos by Robert B. Suter. Additional photos courtesy of Suter.
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