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Natalie Dietz


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Montana

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I study Mimulus guttatus, which is a little yellow wildflower. if you have ever been to Yellowstone National Park, you probably saw it blooming on the banks of geysers! My work is focused on understanding why these wildflowers differ in how they store starch. These plants form soluble sugars, like glucose, through photosynthesis. instead of using it all up to grow, reproduce, or transport nutrients immediately, they will "choose" to save some glucose and store it in the form of starch. Different plants store different amounts of starch, and I am trying to understand the genetic basis of that trait!

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is Mimosa pudica, aka the Sensitive Plant! If you touch the stem or leaves of the plant, they will fall and close up in response. They can tell the difference between water, wind, and touch- and they won't close for anything but touch! The act of closing their leaves is an anti-herbivory response. If you touch a leaf of the Mimosa pudica, it "thinks" you are a bug and will drop/close to try and shake you off!

  • Profile Question 2
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I always knew I wanted to be a scientist, even in high school. My favorite class was AP Biology! At the time, I wanted to be a doctor. As I started taking more classes in college about genetics, I realized that I was more interested in the science behind understanding biodiversity (i.e. why organisms are different from one another)!

  • Profile Question 3
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    The best thing about being a scientist is that it's your job to be curious! You get to notice things that are weird or different (say, color differences between flowers of the same species) and design experiments to find out why.

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

Recent Posts

loscashmanwosspring2024 project 8 Natalie Dietz

How are you guys doing? Do you need anything from me? 

loscashmanwosspring2024 project 16 Natalie Dietz

Hi Anika, Serenity, Iris, and Mikaela! I have now added you here, to your own team. Please update here as you progress with your project! Our scientist mentors and I are so excited to see your results. 

loscashmanwosspring2024 project 8 Natalie Dietz

This sounds like an awesome set-up, Funions! Which liquid do you hypothesize will be the best for onion seed growth? At this point, which do you think will be the worst for the onion seeds? 

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  • No skills have been endorsed yet.


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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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