Angelica Guercio


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    UC Davis Plant Biology Department

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in how plants sense and respond to their environment. Plants are sessile so they must have immensely plastic abilities to react to stimuli and adapt to their current situation. I am most interested in how small molecules and chemicals from the environment can affect plant processes. The main focus of my work is on karrikins: small molecules that are a main component of smoke, released when organic materials are burned. This is especially relevant here in California, when wildfires are extremely common. Karrikins have been shown to be released in fires, and then seep into the soil where they can stimulate seed germination. This process has been examined in the model plant Arabidopsis, the ancestral plant P. patens (moss), but has never been examined in gymnosperms, the major species to actually depend on a fire-ecosystem. I hope to examine the effects of karrikin on gymnosperms at the protein level, specifically to examine the karrikin receptor and downstream interactors.

  • Do you have previous experience in mentorship or educational outreach? Please list here (200 words)
    Personally, I greatly prioritize mentorship and outreach in science. I have many great mentors to thank in getting to where I am now. I have extensive experience in mentoring students at the undergraduate level in the laboratory and have mentored over 10 undergraduate students closely over the last 6 years. I take mentoring very seriously and prioritize understanding above all. My undergraduates have gone on to pursue biology-based careers or additional schooling, and my current undergraduates have been awarded numerous scholarships to fund their work in the lab. I like to think that I am able to strike a balance between independence and guidance when it comes to mentoring, and that this has aided in my students’ success. Additionally, I really do love outreach and love being part of the Planting Science Team. I have taken part in teaching my community of all ages at UC Davis’ annual picnic day as well as additional events during my undergraduate at NYU with the Women in Science Group.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is Aloe vera. It is a beautiful evergreen perennial that is insanely easy to take care of. I appreciate aloe vera because it is used in for so many different purposes. Aloe vera can be used in ointments to soothe burns, in skin care to moisturize skin, and in foods as a tasty jelly. I love my aloe vera plant and I often cut off the leaves to use, but the rest of my plant stays happy and healthy and keeps growing. Aloe plants will even make little baby plants called pups, which I can propagate in a new pot to get another aloe plant or give it to a friend.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I think the best part about being a scientist is making new discoveries. Sometimes when I see a result, it may be the first time any person has ever observed this phenomena! I find that amazingly motivating; the pursuit of scientific novelty is my favorite part about being a scientist!

  • 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 decided to go in to a science career because I genuinely find all things plant fascinating. When I first extracted strawberry DNA as a grade-schooler I was super amazed; now I extract DNA from various plant species all the time! It's amazing how much information there is out there to learn, and I went into science in pursuit of learning as much of that information as possible.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    (not set)

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

  • Preferred Student Level(s)
    High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)
    Undergraduate Students
    Middle School Students (Grades 6,7,8)
    Elementary School Students (5th grade)

  • Preferred Investigation Themes
    The Wonder of Seeds (seed germination and growth)
    What about Pollen? (pollen and pollination)
    Foundations of Genetics (traits, variation and environment in rapidly cycling Brassica)
    Genetics in Arabidopsis (investigation with a model species to track transmission of traits)
    Agronomy Feeds the World (where does food come from?)
    Celery Challenge (plant anatomy, osmosis and diffusion)
    C-Fern in the Open (sexual reproduction, alternation of generations)

  • Challenge, ELL, Honors
    Academically Challenged
    ELL - English language learners
    Honors or AP - Advanced Placement

  • Videoconference Ability

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

  • Receive Email Updates
    Yes, send me emails

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