Marilyn Diane Loveless


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    The College of Wooster (emeritus)

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in population genetics, plant population ecology, tropical botany and biology, pollination and gene flow, demography, conservation biology, ethnobotany, and agriculture.

  • Profile Question 1
    What was the first science experiment you ever designed? How did it turn out?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My first experiment was to test tame rats in running a maze. One rat was very compliant, and ran the maze just fine. The other rat, when I put him in the apparatus, just sat there. For minutes. For hours. It was frustrating to realize that my best intentions were being stymied by - a RAT. But I learned that you have to anticipate challenges and work around them, if you are going to work with living organisms (and that includes plants!) I also learned that a sample size of 2 is not big enough to accommodate the variation you will find in your organisms.

  • 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 had a wonderful grandfather who would take me on walks in the woods and teach me the names of plants and insects. I also enjoyed outdoor activities with my family. I found the natural world to be full of amazing surprises and wonderful stories, and I wanted the be able to explore the mysteries out there myself. So even though other people thought I would major in something like English, I always, always knew I would be a biologist. And I am, and it has been amazing and exciting and fun.

  • 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):
    The most important thing for a scientist is to be unendingly curious about the world around you. Don't take things for granted! Always wonder, why is that? How does that work? What if? You should practice being patient, because answers often take time to emerge. You should be persistent. If an experiment doesn't work, or your hypothesis is not supported, it has still told you something important. You should read a lot - books of all kinds - and it is great to keep a notebook of what you are seeing or thinking about. Don't put limits on what you "want to learn." A good scientist gets inspiration from everything around them. Take all kinds of science classes, but also plenty of math courses. They will give you a way of thinking about a problem that will be invaluable to your science career. And work on your writing skills, so you can write clearly and thoughtfully about anything!

  • 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?

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