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Pheeby, the frog, moves into Pharmacy/Biology

by Cindy Weiss - April 10, 2006

The new Pharmacy/Biology Building has a new permanent tenant for its glass-enclosed lobby: Pheeby, a 70-pound frog.

Pheeby, who emerged last summer as one of 15 frogs decorating downtown Willimantic’s Frogfest ’05, was purchased at auction by faculty, staff, and students of the departments and school housed in the new building: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Physiology and Neurobiology, and the School of Pharmacy.

Pheeby resides atop a 1,000-pound granite slab for maximum security. He/she – the sex is indeterminate, the biologists say – was named last week at a “frog warming.”

The winning name was offered by Chris Martine, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology, in honor of Pharmacy, Physiology and Neurobiology, and EEB.

The runners-up, green with envy, were Karen Logan of the Pharmacy dean’s office, for “The Frog Formerly Known as Prince,” and Ben Bahr, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, for “T. Allen Kaloids, aka Al,” a reference to alkaloids and toxins associated with frog skin.

The chairman of the naming committee, Kentwood Wells, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is about to publish a book on frog behavior.

In Willimantic, Pheeby was known as “Frogsong, Fable, & Fairytales” and was painted by artist Sally Sargent Markey of Granby.

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