Tom Leustek

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Eastern

  • Organization
    Rutgers University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I have a life-long interest in all things plants. As a scientist I study the molecular biology and biochemistry of plants. Since childhood I have been interested in plant classification, plant ecology, plant agriculture, gardens, home vegetable growing, farming, plant-insect relationships, plant diseases. In my free time I grow bonsai (my oldest is about 32 years old), as many different houseplants as I have window space to grow, I grow enormous amounts of vegetables and fruit in my garden, I am always on the lookout for plant fossils.

  • 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):
    Curiosity about living things.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I have a 32 year old bonsai Ficus benjamina that I found nearly dead in a supermarket dumpster then nursed back to health and now looks like a real miniaturized tree. For this reason the trees name is Big Chuck (after the Charlie Brown christmas tree). After watering it every day in summer and every few days in winter for 32 years I have grown attached to Big Chuck. Sometimes I resent him because I have to always make plans for his care, but most times I am happy to have him.

  • 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):
    I was always curious and spent more time taking in as much information than I spent memorizing what I needed to know to get outstanding grades on exams. Doing well in my classes was secondary to satisfying my curiosity.

  • 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

  • No skills have been endorsed yet.