Janet van Zoeren

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Eastern

  • Gender
    Female

  • Organization
    Cornell University

  • Employment Status
    University / College Staff

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in plant=insect interactions, and specifically how we can use our understanding of plants and insects to form more efficient and sustainable agricultural systems. I am most interested in biological control, which is the use of "beneficial", predatory insects, such as ladybugs, to eat and get rid of the pest insects, such as aphids, that are eating our crops. In that way, we can control pest populations in a very cheap way, without spraying as many chemicals.

  • Which of the following best describes your career stage?
    Early Career

  • Profile Question 1
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    This is a tough questions, because I love a lot of plants! But one of my favorites is definitely the lycopodiums. These tiny little woodland floor dwellers are inconspicuous and adorable, but my favorite thing about them is that their close relatives made up the huge forests during the Jurassic era that the dinosaurs walked through! It is amazing to think how big these tiny little guys used to be.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I love that plants are more dynamic and responsive than we think of them being. I always used to think plants were just there -- they do their thing and don't really care about anyone else! But the more I learn about them, the more I realize they are constantly interacting with and responding to each other and to all the insects and microbes out there. For example, did you know that plants "communicate" with each other? Some plants, when they are being eaten by an insect, send a signal to the other plants in the area that there are herbivores out there, so the other plants can create more poisonous substances in their leaves to help protect themselves. It's like the one plant is sending out a message to its friends saying "hey guys, there are a bunch of our enemies out here right now, I'm getting attacked, you need to reinforce your defenses now!"

  • Profile Question 3
    (not set)

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

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
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  • How did you hear about PlantingScience?
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  • Availability
    I am currently available for mentoring, please send me team match invitations

  • Videoconference Ability
    (not set)

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    2

Skills & Endorsements

  • Responsive
    Lindsey GoshgarianFrances Lash
  • Encouraging
    Lindsey GoshgarianFrances Lash
  • Knowledgeable
    Frances Lash
  • Challenges Student Thinking
    Lindsey Goshgarian