Lila Fishman

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Pacific

  • Organization
    University of Montana

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Evolution, Floral Biology, mating system, adaptation, speciation

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    Monkeyflowers!!! I enjoy most plants, but study monkeyflowers because they are beautiful and super-diverse at all levels, from within population to genus-wide. And there is a wonderful positive feedback where the more you know, the more interesting (and answerable) questions arise..

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    Doing science lets you follow your curiosity and exercise your brain (which is personally satisfying) while also advancing understanding of the particularities and commonalities of natural diversity (which is fundamentally important and often useful).

  • 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 have always been interested in plants, as I grew up off-grid in Redwood Country (Northern California) surrounded by amazing plant diversity, both natural and cultivated. I was a biology and art history major in college, but made conscious choice not to pursue the humanities further (I really really love data, though I sometimes miss the diversity of words in other fields...).

    I feel very lucky to have gotten a faculty job (nearly 2 decades ago) while remaining ridiculously unsavvy about science (or anything) as a "career", having bumbled from one stage/project to the next with the support of generous mentors and NSF fellowships/grants.

    I am now conscious that not really having to make a choice was a rare privilege, and mentor students accordingly. But I do still think that a passion for understanding the hidden processes behind natural patterns is the main reason to be a scientist.

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    1

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