Angela Jean McDonnell


  • Organization
    Bucknell University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I study milkweed vines that are found in the Southern US and throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America. I am interested in understanding how different species are related to each other and developing our understanding of how this lineage has adapted to arid and seasonally dry habitats.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    One of my favorite things about being a scientist is that every day is a little different. If I'm teaching, my day often starts with preparing to teach by reviewing material and entering grades, then I'll teach, and if I'm not too tired, I might get a little of my own research done. When I'm not teaching, I have a wide variety of things I do. Many days I'll read or skim a few papers, I'll write a little or analyze some data, and then I'll either work in the lab or in the herbarium. During the summer, it can be even more variable because there are conferences to attend and fieldwork to do.

  • 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):
    A part of my project includes taxonomy, or the naming of plants. Most of the time, I'm trying to understand how other people named species or what they thought about species. It's a lot of reading between the lines. The coolest part of taxonomy so far has been discovering and naming new species of milkweed vines. I've really enjoyed finding and describing new species and telling their part of the larger milkweed story. It's all a part of understanding biodiversity!

  • Profile Question 3
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    I knew I wanted to go into a science career sometime during high school. I was fortunate enough to have science teachers that really cared whether or not their students were learning and understood the material they were teaching. I became more interested in plants specifically when I was in college, taking a general botany course. I didn't know what to expect, but the class blew my mind! I was completely entranced by plant diversity and became a little obsessed with understanding how plants were organized into families and what traits made them unique.

  • 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

Sizzling Sizzle Seeds Angela Jean McDonnell

Hi team,

Your slides look great! I'm so glad you learned some things about plants, and hopefully you enjoyed working with seeds and small plants! It was a pleasure to help you along and get to know what kind of project you did. 


Be yourself Angela Jean McDonnell

Hi team,

Thanks for all the photos of your plants. So you concluded that your seeds grew, even if they were cut, most of the time. Did you present your results to your class? How did it go?


Sizzling Sizzle Seeds Angela Jean McDonnell

Hi Josh and Jack,

Thanks for the graphs! These are very interesting. 

I do not think you screwed up the project at all. On the contrary, I think your hypothesis was not supported. Not all acids are good for seeds and plants, and high…


Skills & Endorsements

  • Encouraging
    Eleanore RitterJason Keeler
  • Challenges Student Thinking
    Eleanore RitterJason Keeler
  • Responsive
    Eleanore Ritter
  • Knowledgeable
    Eleanore Ritter
  • Experienced
    Eleanore Ritter