Byron Mikel Levan

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Eastern

  • Organization
    North Carolina State University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I currently research differences in herbivore attraction to non-native forage and native forage food fields. My primary research interests are with rare ecosystems, particularly with the plant communities in these ecosystems and how those plant communities affect faunal diversity.

  • Profile Question 1
    Can you share a funny/interesting lab or field story?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    As a researcher, I have had a few different technicians working on my projects. One of my technicians was actually a fellow grad student who was sticking around for the summer to finish her thesis. While in the field sampling plants out of a forage exclusion cage, she screamed snake and flew off the bucket she was sitting on. I looked down and there was a Carolina pigmy rattle snake where she had been picking plants (They are wonderfully camouflaged). She had actually picked almost a complete circle around the snake before realizing it was there. It was the first pigmy rattler we had seen, so I was actually pretty excited after making sure she wasn't bit. It still remains one of our favorite field stories.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is the pink ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule). First off, it's an orchid... and orchids are just pretty cool. Second, it was one of the first wildflowers I ever found that really "awed" me. When I found a large patch as a kid, I was so excited and couldn't wait to show my family. I picked a large "bouquet" to take to my Great Grandmother for her birthday. Little did I know at the time how detrimental that was for those plants. Luckily, that population is still thriving today and doesn't seem to have been all that affected by my childhood ignorance.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    It's a tough road. It's not a career choice to take lightly. You have to be passionate about what you want to do and understand that the payoff isn't from "money." It's from truly advancing the knowledge of the human species and bettering our planet. You often won't get overwhelming praise for your achievements or recognized for everything you do, but it's all worth it.

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

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

Skills & Endorsements

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