Photo of Lynn Riddiford
Lynn Riddiford ’18
Year of Honorary Fellowship, 2007

Lynn Moorhead Riddiford is an entomologist and developmental biologist widely known for her groundbreaking research in understanding how hormones orchestrate insect metamorphosis. She was the first female faculty member in the Biology Department at Harvard University, where she served as Assistant and Associate Professor. Riddiford is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993) and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2010).

Riddiford attended Radcliffe College and graduated magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences in 1958. In her junior year, she joined the laboratory of famed insect physiologist Carroll Williams at nearby Harvard University, where she began studying juvenile hormone in insects and other animals. This research resulted in her first publication, co-authored with Williams, in Nature in 1959. She received her Ph.D. (Zoology, 1961) at Cornell University under the guidance of Marcus Singer and Harold Scheraga.

During 1967–1970, she published seven papers, four as sole author, in Science or Proceedings of the National of Academy of Science, and yet Harvard University did not grant her tenure.

Her trajectory of stellar research was recognized by University of Washington, and she was named Virginia and Prentice Bloedel University Professor (2000–2005). Riddiford began her first retirement in 2007 from University of Washington, and then immediately was appointed a Senior Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus. After a productive nine years at Hughes and election to the National Academy of Sciences during that time, she “retired” a second time in 2016, but promptly returned to the University of Washington to continue her research at the Friday Harbor Laboratories.

portrait of Professor Lynn Riddiford Hon.FRES