Andrea Denise Appleton


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Georgia Southern University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My current research evaluates the floral development and distribution of the sandhill endemic species Paronychia in order to understand the evolutionary development of the species's reproductive structures. This involves field work and herbarium specimen analysis as well as molecular lab work including dissection, microscopy, and DNA sequencing.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My favorite part about being a scientist is constantly learning and being able to apply that knowledge outside! Knowing about a topic only makes it more fascinating. "Plant-blindness" is used a lot to describe the disinterest a lot of people have in plants, but once a person knows even a little bit about them, they stop looking all the same and become really remarkable!

  • Profile Question 2
    What is tough about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    It is tough to balance contributing to your scientific project on top of taking classes, working, and/or visiting friends and family (an important part of self-care!). It takes a lot of time management and rearranging priorities based on what needs to happen versus what a person wants to happen.

  • 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):
    My faculty member shared with me that when a cactus is pressed to make a herbarium specimen, sometimes it produces a flower while inside of the plant press as sort of a last-ditch effort at reproduction, which is the most important thing an organism can accomplish in its lifetime. This is not visible, however; it is a lovely surprise to whomever opens the press!

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

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