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Profile picture of Julia Chapman

Julia Chapman

My Research Interest

My research focuses mainly on plant-habitat interactions, in particular, the ecology of plants in extreme environments. My research is employing innovative combinations of laboratory, field, and theoretical approaches to select the suitable phytoremediation technique to clean up the contaminated ecosystems on spatial and temporal scales. My future interest is to extend my research to assess the influence of anthropogenic perturbations such as urbanization or agricultural and industrial pollution on plant diversity in natural ecosystems and identify the molecular and biochemical mechanisms responsible for plant coexistence with the surrounding environment.

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Profile picture of Hussein Saad Mohamed

Hussein Saad Mohamed

E-mails to mentors

1 posts

Profile picture of Julia Chapman

Julia Chapman

Field collection trips 2016

This summer I have taken about 3 weeks to travel from Moscow, ID through the Great Basin and Death Valley to the California coast and finally to Coos Bay, OR looking for Chloropyron, the genus that is the focus of my graduate work. These annual, semi-parasitic (meaning it takes mostly water from its host) grow only in salt marshes through western N. America. Because of this, the populations of these species form very unique distributions that are extremely fragmented. These collections will be sequenced and used to construct evolutionary hypotheses about ecological diversity and genetic diversity. I was joined by friends and collaborators Nic Diaz (Bucknell University) and Thomas Stoughton (Plymouth State University) for most of this to help be search and keep me sane. 

1 posts

Profile picture of Ian Spencer Gilman

Ian Spencer Gilman

Favorites

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Profile picture of Virginia van Vianen

Virginia van Vianen

PlantingScience

Posts with students and teachers in projects

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Profile picture of Carol L. Wymer

Carol L. Wymer

About me!

Hello! My name is Cari Ritzenthaler and I'm currently a Master's student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. My thesis research focuses on invertebrates (e.g. millipedes, isopods, ants, beetles, etc.), specifically the tiny ones the live on the forest floor. 

You might remember Mufasa from the Lion King saying "When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great circle of life." Mufasa must have known about these little bugs I study, because they are exactly what help the once living organism become the grass! These tiny bugs will break down organic matter, whether it be an animal or simply a leaf, and returns it's nutrients back into the soil for plants to use once more. With out this recycling of nutrients, our forests wouldn't be able to grow as well as they do now. Of course, the bugs aren't the only organisms at play here, there are so a number of bacteria and fungi. But without the bugs, this process is A LOT slower. So, I was interested in what make these bugs tick. 

My research looked at how nutrition of the leaf litter can affect the number of invertebrates present or how active they are. They want a nutritious meal, just as much as we do! In fact, if they could I bet they would love a plate of kale. But they're stuff with dead, crunchy leaves. Lucky for them, different trees have different chemical make ups, meaning some are more nutritious than others. I was wondering if they would seek out these more nutritious leaves. What would happen if I added some extra nutrients? Such as calcium, which they need to create functioning exoskeletons. The verdicts still out as I am just not analyzing my data, but I'd be happy to share the results with you once I know!

Bugs are not my only love! I adore all aspects of nature. More than anything though, I enjoy sharing my love for nature with others. I taught a summer field ecology course previous in Hocking Hills Ohio working with the PAST Foundation in between my Bachelor's and Master's degree. While I didn't get to lead scientific projects with the students, I did teach them how to collect data and become a great field ecologist. Sharing my love for science and nature at the same time with these middle and high school aged students was the most rewarding experience I've had yet. 

I've also participated in the Girl Power event at Imagination Station in Toledo, Ohio. The entire goal of this event is to encourage girls to be interested and involved in science. This was an awesome experience. You could physically see the little girls eyes light up when I said "Hi my name's Cari and I study bugs!" They didn't correct me and say "bug are for boys," but one did look up at me and say "could I do that too?" My heart broke and I immediately took our live millipede out of the cage and let her hold her. She was so thrilled and I knew from that day on that I wanted to invoke that look of discovery in every child. 

I'm so excited to get started in Planting Science's mentorship program. I'm excited to help our future scientists conduct their own experiment. Thank you for considering me as a mentor for your students!

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Profile picture of Cari Ritzenthaler

Cari Ritzenthaler

Cool Stuff

Just what the title says... Cool stuff about plants and life!

1 posts

Profile picture of Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

Planting Science Posts

Posts I routinely use or can adapt as I mentor teams.

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Profile picture of Riva Bruenn

Riva Bruenn

PlantingScience Responses

This collection contains standard responses such as my introduction to students.

1 posts

Profile picture of Callie Ashton Oldfield

Callie Ashton Oldfield

The best collection

My collection

1 posts

Profile picture of Andries Temme

Andries Temme

My PlantingScience Post Templates

Hello there!

I'm a 6th year graduate student in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University and The Chicago Botanic Garden. My research investigates the possibility of using urban green roofs for the conservation of native plant species. Living in Chicago, I'm especially interested in species from the short grass prairies of the Midwest and how they interact with pollinating insects. 

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Profile picture of Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas

Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas

Announcements

Templates for announcements

1 posts

Profile picture of Julia Chapman

Julia Chapman

Sample Post

Here's how I would answer these common questions.

2 posts

Profile picture of Jodi Creasap Gee

Jodi Creasap Gee

Favorites

All my favorite things are here. But what is a collection? I'm not sure yet.

1 posts

Profile picture of Susan Mary Bush

Susan Mary Bush