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Nathaniel John Frein


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Washington State University - Vancouver

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I investigate the different compounds that lupin roots release into the soil in response to the differing available nutrients in the soil, specifically phosphorus, on the pumice plain of Mount Saint Helens, USA. The lupins I work with were the first plant to grow post-eruption, how do they do it; so they possess traits we see in other lupins? I also develop different apparatus to assist in visualizing and answering these questions.

  • Profile Question 1
    Do you have advice for students about preparing for a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    Follow your Passion! That's it. Really. When you follow your passion, no one can compete with you. This is because to you it isn't work. It's your living, breathing reality. You will think about it when you eat, you will think about it when you ponder for fun, even when you sleep.

  • 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):
    I have been fortunate enough have many awesome instructors, but I was in a Biology class when a student asked a question that the instructor didn't immediately know the answer to. The instructor, with no shame or embarrassment, stated "I don't know", and when on to encourage the student by the allure of discovering the unknown. I'm in a science career because I like to explore the unknown!

  • Profile Question 3
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    When our environment gets foul, we can put on a jacket, go inside, or seek other shelter. When a plant has a difficult time in the environment, it cannot move, it must either adapt, perish, or wait out the rough times in the time capsule we know as a seed. To do this plants have a myriad of adaptations, and many plants have different adaptations to address similar problems. How do cypress trees roots breathe, when they are constantly submerged?

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

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    (not set)

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

Recent Posts

GLCPS Cost Team 5 Nathaniel John Frein

Hi Sabrina,

You are very welcome! 

It is always a pleasure to share plant science, and I'm really proud of your guys' enthusiasm!  It is that enthusiasm that carries you through the experiments that need some more "fine…

GLCPS Cost Team 5 Nathaniel John Frein

Hi Shahara,

That's what Nayarite was saying as well; I think you are right on about the water and the sunlight.  The phenomenon is known as "damping-off" and is largely caused by pathogenic fungi.…

GLCPS Cost Team 5 Nathaniel John Frein

Hi Nayarite,

You are quite welcome! 

That could be true about the radish, plant roots need oxygen to respire and be healthy, much like we do.  Too much water and not enough light to transpire that water could have caused it. …


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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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