Matthew Bond

Profile

  • Time Zone
    UTC-10:00

  • Organization
    University of Hawaii at Manoa

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I'm interested in the plants that we use to make food, clothing, art, and medicine. Our lives depend on plants- for every five people in the world, three use medicinal plants as their primary source of medicine. I study why people use certain plant species for medicine rather than other plant species. This research will help us to understand how plants, and humans, and their environments affect one another, and may also help us to develop new medicines. I'm also interested in climate change, invasive species, tropical biology, island biology, ecology, and restoration.

  • 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 have been fascinated by plants and nature since childhood. Around age seven, I started to collect and dissect plants in a manner that was eerily similar to my future university taxonomy and physiology classes. I couldn’t wait to be old enough (nine!) to join my local youth garden club. Joining and later leading this club showed me how plants could unite people of all ages and backgrounds. I followed this interest as I went through high school and university, and now I study the relationships between people, plants, and the environment.

  • Profile Question 2
    Can you share a funny/interesting lab or field story?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    During my field research in Solomon Islands I lived in a treehouse made of leaves (with no running water or electricity or roads) for ten months. One day I was talking with a local person about plants while he was playing with a parrot (Yellow Bibbed Lory- the same kind that's in my profile picture) that he had tamed but let live outside and fly freely. As our conversation was ending, the parrot suddenly attacked my leg violently enough to draw blood! The next day, I was working with someone else on the other side of the village who also had a tame parrot. As the parrot flew closer I was on my guard, but the parrot only wanted to use me and my hat as a jungle gym and was happy to pose for a picture on my shoulder.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is coconut because it is used for so many things- this single species is like the grocery store of the Pacific. Different plant parts are used for medicine, the fruit husk is used to make rope, the stem is used as timber, the leaves are woven into baskets or used to make thatched roofs, the leaves are also made into brooms, the fruit shells are used as dishes, the fruit oil is used for cosmetics and cooking, the liquid inside the fruit (coconut water) is very refreshing, and the meat of the fruit is used to make hundreds of delicious foods!!

  • Availability
    I am NOT available, please temporarily remove me from the available mentor list

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

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