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Patricia Ehlers


  • Time Zone

  • Organization

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Horticulture, Agriculture, Soil Science

  • Profile Question 1
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    The coolest thing I've learned about plants is that they can communicate, and in more ways than one! Not only do they communicate via volatile gases, but they use mycorrhizae as well!

  • Profile Question 2
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I have decided to pursue a life of science because I've always been too curious for my own good.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    I currently maintain 14 different green-spaces throughout the Bronx, NYC for the community.

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

  • Preferred Investigation Themes
    The Wonder of Seeds (seed germination and growth)
    Foundations of Genetics (traits, variation and environment in rapidly cycling Brassica)
    C-Fern in the Open (sexual reproduction, alternation of generations)
    The Power of Sunlight (photosynthesis and respiration)
    What about Pollen? (pollen and pollination)

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

Recent Posts


Hi Oscar,


So happy to receive your message! I became interested in plants when I was a child surrounded by nature, yet not really knowing what any of the plants were. As an adult I sought to learn more on my own and realized just how unique these organisms are. They can eat and communicate, but have no mouths. They are constantly moving with intention (as they grow), but cannot move about the way we do; so they have very interesting ways of defending themselves against danger. The amazement doesn't end there either. Do you have  a specific type of plant that you are monitoring? Plant growth can seem very complicated when you get into all of the little details. They of course need the right light exposure, nutrients, the right soil type, and drainage; but that's just the basics. Different plants, having adapted to different environments, are dependent on very specific conditions to truly thrive. Tropism is a botanical term used to describe different ways in which plants seek out resources. Roots are geotropic, for example. Geo- meaning earth, and tropic meaning growing towards. Phototropism is a plant's tendency to grow towards light. Many plants are especially sensitive to red and blue wavelengths of the light spectrum, thus magenta light helps many plants in a controlled environment grow really well. The only research I'm conducting currently is trying different methods of keeping squirrels from eating my plants. Cayenne pepper seems to be working really well, for now.  ^_^

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