Professor Tobe in the backyard of his farm drinking wine

We are sad to share news of the passing of Professor Emeritus Stephen Tobe. He was a world traveller and world-renowned researcher in arthropod endocrinology, specifically the regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis by microRNAs and neuropeptides called allatostatins.

CSB’s own Professor Chris Garside earned his PhD in Tobe’s lab and relates that “He was an inspiration to me as a scientist. He was my mentor; and he encouraged me to look beyond the surface and to ask the question why? He was paradoxical – both intimidatingly brilliant, and yet approachable. I always loved discussing life over beers at the Madison Avenue Pub, his office away from the University.”

In Tobe’s lab on the fifth floor of the Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratories, he primarily studied the endocrinology of cockroaches. He branched into other insects like caterpillars, locusts, fruit flies as well as crustaceans like red crabs, due to the way endocrine biosynthetic pathways diverge between these arthropods. “He gave me and many students an opportunity and the freedom to pursue what we were interested in discovering in the lab. He allowed us to make mistakes…but [taught] that we must learn from those mistakes,” recalls Garside.

A prolific scientist, Tobe continued to publish into 2020 with collaborators in Hong Kong, close to the property he shared in Thailand with his wife Martha, who survives him.

You can read more about Stephen and leave a tribute through this link to his obituary.