Rob began his academic career as a musician, but made the mistake of reading a bunch of books about how and why brains like music so much, and fell in love with neuroscience. After that, he figured that he could always be a hobbyist musician, but being a casual neuroscientist was much more difficult, and has been working in the field ever since. His first research was in the lab of Dr. Robyn Crook at SFSU, resulting in the first publication addressing learning and memory in squid. Upon graduating, he began work in the lab of Dr. Michael Brainard at UCSF, using a holistic approach involving pharmacology, behavioral assays, and genetic analysis to attack questions about the heritable aspects of song learning and performance in finches. Presently, his work in the Shafer lab seeks to address the interface between neuropeptide signalling and circadian rhythm in Drosophila. As an inveterate insomniac, when he is not in lab, he is likely napping, but might also be cooking, playing tabletop roleplaying games, or brewing/drinking an unhealthy amount of tea.