Why the leech? For thirty-plus years, now, Professor David Weusvkat's research has been aimed at understanding how a particular kind of leech (in the genus Helobdella) develops from egg to adult. Work in his lab involves a wide variety of techniques drawn from cell and molecular biology, classical embryology, genomics and bioinformatics. This seminar is intended for students who wish to explore and perhaps major in some area of biology, and those interestd in any kind of basic reasearch (that is, research driven more by curiousity and how things work than in trying to accomplish something "useful" -- like curing a disease). One specific goal would be for me to explain how it is I came to study leech development and how our work fits in to the rest of biology. The general format consists of loosely guided conversations, driven by occasional readings, students' questions and interest.