Andries Temme

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Eastern

  • Organization
    University of Georgia, Athens

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research interest is in understanding plant growth under environmentally stressful conditions such as drought, flooding and poor soils. With global population levels rising producing enough food for everybody is a growing challenge. One of the ways to meet this challenge and increase global food production is to breed sturdier crops that can tolerate environmental stress better than current high yielding crop varieties. To do this however, first we need to know more about the traits affecting plant performance at stressful conditions and the genetic basis of these traits.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I'm a very curious person, I always want to know how everything works. As a scientist I get to indulge in my curiousity by figuring out why and how plants work and I even get paid for it! Being a scientists means you have a very varied job (doing experiments, analysing data, working in large and small teams) and I enjoy that tremendously.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I like plants that do weird things. My favorite is Rhizanthella gardneri or the Western Underground Orchid. What you should know is that many plants have a beneficial interaction with soil fungi belowground, plants give sugars to the fungus and the fungus gives nutrients from the soil to the plant. This little orchid hijacks that interaction, giving nothing to the fungus and taking the nutrients and sugars from it. It's simultaneously parasitizing the fungus for nutrients and via the fungus the plants that give it sugars. As it doesn't need leaves to capture light it has none. It only exists as a root underground, even flowering there. Pretty weird.

  • 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):
    Most of the megafauna that existed during the past ice ages has gone extinct. There are no more giant Elk, huge ground sloths, Mammoths and such. I have discovered that since the last ice age, when these animals still lived, the quality of plant material as food has gone down tremendously (even though the quantity increased). This, combined with human hunting, could have led to the extinction of these species.

  • Availability
    I am currently available for mentoring, please send me team match invitations

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    1

Skills & Endorsements

  • Knowledgeable
    Liaison Amazing
  • Encouraging
    Liaison Amazing
  • Challenges Student Thinking
    Liaison Amazing