Catherine Vrentas


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    (not set)

  • Employment Status
    Industry / Private Company

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My scientific research interests vary--I like studying different types of things! I have studied microbes that cause disease, as well as microbes that live in the soil around plants. In the past, my students took sediments from a swamp and explored the microbes that lived in the different layers. I recently worked with university students to research, design, and plant a garden with plants that have traditionally been used as medicines in the Appalachian Mountains of the Eastern United States. For teams interested in the new module on plant diseases--I have a lot of experience with microbiology that would be relevant

  • Profile Question 1
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is the Southern Magnolia tree. I love the shininess of the leaves, the shape of the flowers, and most importantly, the lemony scent of the blooms. When I was in high school, I had to prepare a project in English class about a flower, and I chose the magnolia. I discovered a famous painter who captured its beauty (Martin Johnson Heade) and have enjoyed these images ever since.

  • Profile Question 2
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    When I was younger, I loved to explore outside. I had a small book with ideas for experiments. I still remember trying one out where I put water and soil in a 2 L soda bottle, shook it up, and let the different layers settle. I could see all the different types of things inside. When I was in high school, my advanced biology teacher always went above and beyond to find cool new things to show us. She even brought in a flower that smelled like rotting meat to attract flies that would pollinate it. She is the reason I selected Biology in particular for my career.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    The best thing about being a scientist is to discover new things that no one in the whole world ever knew before. You are an explorer!

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    (not set)

  • Availability
    I am NOT available, please temporarily remove me from the available mentor list

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Skills & Endorsements

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