Support Options

Report a problem

About you
About the problem

Kate Eisen


  • Time Zone
    US Eastern or Pacific

  • Organization
    Cornell University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I study the interactions between flowering plants and the animals that pollinate them. I am curious about why pollinators may be attracted to certain plants and if this changes depending on which plant species co-occur in a habitat.

  • Profile Question 1
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I didn’t really like science when I was in middle school and high school, but I’ve always loved spending time outdoors--hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and sailing are some of my favorite things to do. When I was in college, I took an ecology course for the first time and I realized that ecologists get to spend a lot of time out in nature, designing research projects to address questions they have about the natural world. That sounded like a pretty cool job to me, so now I’m in graduate school studying why flowers have flashy traits like bright colors, stinky scents, and different shapes.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    This is such a tough question for me--so many plants are so cool in lots of different ways! My top 3 favorite plants are: 1. the saguaro cactus (they are so tall!) 2. Passion flowers (check out their flowers!) 3. Birds of paradise (again, pretty neat flowers!)

  • Profile Question 3
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    One of the things that I love about being a scientist is that I get to do lots of different things, so the work that I do each day varies a lot, depending on the time of year and how my research is going. When I’m on campus during the school year, I might spend parts of my day helping to teach an undergraduate course, thinking up an idea for a new project and writing a grant proposal to fund it, or analyzing data I’ve collected from a summer field research project. Sometimes I grow plants in a greenhouse on campus, and I’m always trying to find time to read lots of scientific articles to see what other people are studying and what they’ve been learning about plants and pollinators. During the summers, I do field research in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern California. It’s a really beautiful area, and I get to hang out with lots of other scientists who are doing research in the area, so we have a lot of fun. We also work really hard because our plants are only flowering for about six weeks each year! A typical day in the field might involve watching bees pollinate plants, measuring floral traits on plants, or looking for new sites where our species occur.

  • 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?

Recent Posts


Hi team! It's great to hear a bit about what you've been up to! No worries about not posting over the break--I hope you all had a great holiday.

Were any of your results unexpected? I know you're probably wrapping up with PlantingScience but I'm curious about what other experiments you'd like to do if you have time.



Hi team!

It feels like it's been awhile since I've heard from you, so I just wanted to check in and see how things have been going. Are you still working on the same experiments, or have you been designing new ones? I'm really looking forward to talking about your results with you, so please keep me posted!



Hi Team!

My name is Kate, and I'm another mentor for PlantingScience. I just wanted to ask you a few questions about your last experiment since your mentor hasn't been online in a few days.

I can't see the graph you tried to upload, so that makes it a little hard for me to follow your interpretation of your results. But, here are some questions--did you see differences between the number of leaves that floated in the baking soda or blowing cups vs. the plain water? It seems like you expected having more carbon dioxide would increase the rate of photosynthesis. Did your results support this idea? Why or why not?

Keep up the great work! We are looking forward to hearing more from you soon. Rob, any other questions or ideas for your team?


Skills & Endorsements

  • Encouraging
    Christine Marie Tantocokaren beardsley+1
  • Experienced
    Christine Marie Tantocokaren beardsley+1
  • Knowledgeable
    Christine Marie Tantocokaren beardsley+1
  • Challenges Student Thinking
    karen beardsleyTeacher 1 Teacher 1
  • Responsive
    karen beardsleyTeacher 1 Teacher 1