I became enthralled with microbes and microbiology when I was a student in California. At the time, I was very involved in environmental issues and learned about microbes that produce methane during anaerobic respiration. After completing my BS, I studied methanogens with Dr. Mah at UCLA, then moved to Illinois to work on the biochemistry of methane production with Dr. Wolfe. It was an exciting time as Wolfe and Woese had just discovered that methanogens were part of a new domain of life called Archaea. For postdoctoral work, I switched to a completely different organism, Myxococcus xanthus, to learn more genetics. For these studies, I went to Stanford University to work with Dr. Dale Kaiser. I accepted a faculty position at UCLA in 1990, but after four years in Los Angeles (and a long-distance marriage), my husband and I decided to look for jobs in the same location. We fell in love with Idaho — the beauty of Moscow and the people at the University. I've been fortunate to work with many talented students who have made significant contributions toward understanding myxobacterial gliding motility, development, and phase variation.