Amanda Benoit


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I study interactions between plants and their mutualists and antagonists, such as pollinators and herbivores. I'm interested in how ecological context can affect those interactions. For example, do predators of pollinators, such as dragonflies, alter the evolution of plant traits by altering interactions between plants and pollinators?

  • Profile Question 1
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I've always loved plants, animals, and being outdoors. In high school, when I realized I could make a career out of studying the things I love and doing field work, I decided to become a biologist.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    The best thing about being a scientist is the freedom and flexibility to study the questions that interest me most.

  • Profile Question 3
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    In high school I always enjoyed science, especially learning about ecology and evolution in biology class. However, when I considered signing up for an authentic science research program, I was told by someone that it was "only for really smart kids", and I think this is a misconception that harms a lot of young people interested in science. Science is not an exclusive pursuit for geniuses, everyone can learn the scientific process, and anyone with passion can be good at science.

  • 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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