Planting Science - Members: View: Jessica Szetela
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Jessica Szetela


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Arizona

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am a Master's student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. I study how plants in the Arctic react to climate change! The site I work on has a gradient of frozen ground (permafrost), an intermediate, wetter, boggy area, and a fully thawed, wet area known as a fen. This thaw gradient is driven by increasing temperatures, and we are curious to see how this is influencing both who is there (in terms of both plants and microbes) and what they're doing. I have looked at the timing of plant's important life events (such as leafing out, flowering, producing fruits/seeds, and when they drop all of those important things) are being impacted by these changes. The timing of those life events combined is known as phenology.
    Additionally, my thesis for my Master's degree is the creation of a vegetative field guide that includes the important ecology of the species at my field site which will help future researchers include species-specific influences into our understanding of the effects of climate change in the Arctic.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    This is a hard question for me, I have so many! My go-to answer for this though is any sundew or Drosera spp. They are little carnivorous plants that have little sticky drops that look just like dew in the morning! Once an insect lands on that sticky "dew" the plant will curl around it to digest it for nutrients. I love these guys because they are one of the most common carnivorous plants and have a really large range, so you never know when you might see another :)

  • Profile Question 2
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    It depends! If I am at school or in my office, normally the day consists of sitting at my desk working on data analysis, chatting with my collaborators, or finding and reading scientific literature related to my work.

    However, if I am in the field (which is my favorite part of my job), I will wake up early, pack a heavy bag with all of the materials I need for the day, and hike out to my field site! When there, my work can consist of so many things! Sometimes I am on a boat, surveying the vegetation in the lake. Sometimes I am trekking around in waders with water up to my hips to go check the water level sensors. Most times though, I have my head super close to the ground, admiring and cataloging all of the plants within a 1x1m plot. Whenever I'm done (usually somewhere between 8-10 hours later) I get to go back to the field station and hang out with all the other cool researchers that stay at the same international research station.

  • Profile Question 3
    (not set)

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
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  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
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  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
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  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Recent Posts

Kaboom power up from Black opps III: project 6 Jessica Szetela

Hi Kabooms! How is your project going, have you made any cool observations or finalized any data?

PlantsGenes Project 13 Jessica Szetela

Hi team! How is everything going? What sorts of observations have you been making-- anything cool coming up? Have you gotten any results yet?

shscoatesfogbspring2024 project 4 Jessica Szetela

Hi Team! 

Great to see all your progress this semester! You're plants look big and beautiful! What sorts of observations have you been making about their growth? How has data collection going?

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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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