Steven Thomas Callen


  • Time Zone

  • Organization

  • Employment Status
    Industry / Private Company

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in how plant species respond to change, such as being moved from one geographic location to another or adaptation to new environmental conditions. My past work focused on the underlying factors, such as climate and reproduction, contributing to the native and non-native distributions of an invasive plant species. My future work will seek to find ways to help our current crop species adapt to warmer, drier conditions. Agricultural research is especially important in the coming years, as our population approaches 9 billion people, as our diets increase in size, and as a changing climate threatens to negatively affect our crops.

  • Profile Question 1
    Can you share a funny/interesting lab or field story?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I was doing research in China for the second summer in a row. The summer before, a family in the small village I was working in would frequently cook a lunch for me after a long day's worth of field work. So, when I came back for this second summer of work in the village, I brought a token of thanks to give the family (a father, mother, and two children) as a gift for their kindness. I presented my gift to them one day at lunch, when the whole family, plus an older brother of the father, was present. As it turned out, the older brother did not appreciate me not giving him a gift as well, even though he had nothing to do with this family having fed me the summer before. The next day I went to the field, all of my plants that I had been working on for a month were destroyed by that older brother! All because I didn't realize I needed to give him a gift for no reason at all.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    One of the cool things about being a scientist is that there is no "typical" day. Each day brings with it new challenges and new insights. Over the course of a day, I could do any of the following: read research papers, brainstorm ideas about research with my friends, work in the field, work in the lab, analyze data, listen to presentations about someone else's interesting work, give a talk to a group of 50 people, grow plants in the greenhouse, or do something else I hadn't even considered before!

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Discovering new things, no matter how small or large, that nobody had ever discovered before.

  • 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

phswcrogersfall2017 project 9 Steven Thomas Callen

Hello, Team. Have you abandoned me? I see that all the other teams have run their experiments and are posting some results or discussion about it. I'd love an update!

phswcrogersfall2017 project 9 Steven Thomas Callen

HI Team!

I haven't heard from you in a while. How is the project going? What have you learned so far? Let me know if I can help you at all.


phswcrogersfall2017 project 4 Steven Thomas Callen

Learning about plant and animal cells is great! Did you have to make a model? I remember still when I was back in grad school how I made a plant cell model out of jello and vegetables placed in a jar!

Are all of you finding the current…


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