This past week, the neuroscience community lost a great scientist, and role model and advocate for women in science, Allison Doupe, to cancer. As a professor at the University of California San Francisco, Allison’s research focused on mechanisms of auditory coding, vocal production and learning in birdsong. Her elegant and groundbreaking papers and seminars infected many researchers with the excitement and promise of birdsong as a fascinating system in its own right and as a model for language and motor skill learning. Allison was also a highly regarded practicing psychiatrist, specializing in the effects of hormones on female brains. At the Keck Center at UCSF, as a leader at the vibrant UCSF Sloan-Swartz Center, and through her Woods Hole lectures, Allison was responsible for inspiring many junior theorists with the amazing opportunities that labs like hers offered for collaborative and analytical approaches to neuroscience. She was a mentor to many who did not directly work with her; an anxious speaker needed only to spot her bright, warm smile in the audience to find calm and confidence. Her brilliant intellect, insight, warm encouragement and optimism will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate to interact with her. Allison leaves behind her husband, Michael Brainard, also a prominent birdsong researcher, and her young twins, Alec and Sam.