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How did you become interested in studying fruit flies in Hawaii?

Drosophila, also known as the fruit fly.
 

When I went to graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis, I thought I wanted to work on human genetics. I talked to one of the guys in the biology department, and he gave me some advice: work somewhere fun.

Besides having a lot of white sand and sun, the Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated, relatively large area of land on Earth.

A lot of people think that fruit flies were blown to Hawaii in tropical storms from other places. When they arrived there, they adapted and changed. So the Hawaiian Islands are a wonderful, natural laboratory for studying variation and adaptation.