Matthew Opdyke


  • Mailing Address
    address1:Point Park University
    address2:201 Wood Street

  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Point Park University

  • Employment Status
    University / College Faculty

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Research interests include pollinators, lichens and wetland restoration. I currently manage a citizen science project called Project Bee Watch around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are surveying meadows to determine the status of pollinators in the region. I am also a lichenologist, using lichens in southwestern Pennsylvania to assess air quality and establish a distribution map of lichens. My third research project is assisting a local land trust in restoring a floodplain wetland, and providing the expertise in annual monitoring of wetland plants. Additional studies I have done with my botany classes include measuring tree biomass in forested plots to calculate carbon dioxide sequestration, using algae as indicators of water quality and forensic botany.

  • Do you have previous experience in mentorship or educational outreach? Please list here (200 words)
    I am a university professor that teaches botany and ecology, among other environmental courses not related to plants. My research regularly includes undergraduate students. Some of those students are science majors; and occasionally I supervise an honor student not in the science program. My research brings me in regular contact with the local community. I've participated in community festivals supporting plant science, presented to a wide variety of organizations and community members and train citizen scientists to help me collect data on pollinators. I also volunteer at libraries to teach a variety of science topics to young children and taught a high school summer workshop on environmental science.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Profile Question 3
    Do you have advice for students about preparing for a science career?

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

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

  • Preferred Investigation Themes
    Tree-mendous Trees
    What about Pollen? (pollen and pollination)
    Celery Challenge (plant anatomy, osmosis and diffusion)

  • Videoconference Ability

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

Recent Posts

gpslongfall2022 project 5 Matthew Opdyke

Thank you for sending me a picture. Looks like your experiment is going well. Celery is cool to work with because you can see the collenchyma tissues, which are the "stringy" parts of the stem. These tissues help to hold the plant up.

gpslongfall2022 project 5 Matthew Opdyke

I can't access your images, but maybe you can describe the project for me.

The short answer to how salt affects plant cells is that too much can kill the cells by drawing water out of the cells.

The longer answer is that salt is necessary…

gpslongfall2022 project 5 Matthew Opdyke

I am happy to hear from your Lucy. I am a science mentor and I teach botany at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and run a citizen science project for studying pollinators. What are your favorite courses and what attracted you to study plants?…


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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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