Katherine Angela Preston


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Stanford University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in how plant structures and plant developmental patterns influence the way plants live in the world. Most recently I have been writing about plants we eat: what parts do we eat and why, how do their properties matter to us as eaters, and what can we learn about morphology and ecology by paying attention to plant foods? In past work, I have investigated the evolution of structures that help plants survive in their environments, for example leaf traits (thickness, number and size of stomates, hairs) and stem traits (size and capacity to carry water). I try to reconstruct evolutionary histories of these traits by comparing closely related plants that live in different environments.

  • Profile Question 1
    What was the first science experiment you ever designed? How did it turn out?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My first experiment was not a good one, but I learned a lot. In first grade, I wanted to grow a bean plant for the science fair. My dad, a bacteriologist, told me that simply growing a plant was not doing science. To do science I had to ask a question. My question became "can I grow a bean?" And I could. My Dad let me grow that bean, but I never forgot his advice about framing questions in science. He guided me through many subsequent science fairs and supported me in my quest to become a professional botanist. Thanks, Dad!

  • Profile Question 2
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I loved my biology classes in high school. I loved biology instinctively, but I also had a teacher who really cared about our learning. I most appreciated the creativity I could bring to the class through designing experiments and writing lab reports. Other classes were much more about following directions, but biology let me think for myself and test my ideas. It was exciting.

  • Profile Question 3
    (not set)

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    (not set)

  • 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?

Recent Posts

No recent activity.

Skills & Endorsements

  • Experienced
    Christine Marie Tantoco
  • Encouraging
    Christine Marie Tantoco
  • Challenges Student Thinking
    Christine Marie Tantoco
  • Responsive
    Christine Marie Tantoco
  • Knowledgeable
    Christine Marie Tantoco