Planting Science - Members: View: Evelyn Elkington
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Evelyn Elkington


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Texas - El Paso

  • Employment Status
    University / College Graduate Student

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am a post-Bach studying environmental science, and more specifically, environmental biology. Currently, I work with a team that researches how we can improve agricultural plants to increase the amount of food we get from them and make them more resistant to bad weather. I do this by editing the DNA to see what the effect of these edits are, and seeing if the edits can be applied to multiple different types of plants. I love working with plant DNA and RNA, and I am especially interested in evolution!

  • 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 decided to go into a science career after I graduated high school. When I graduated, I thought I wanted to be in the healthcare field, but I quickly realized that a lot of my interests had to do with biology and natural science. When I got to college, my favorite classes were all biology and genetics related, and I ended up getting a position volunteering as a Research Assistant in a lab. I fell in love with the process of lab work-- using the equipment and analyzing results made me feel like a real scientist! Although the results I got from my work were limited and took many long hours outside of school, I felt proud that something I had worked on was a success. From that experience, it was clear to me that research was where I belonged.

  • Profile Question 2
    What lessons have you learned in your career about how science works?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I have learned that science is a lot more "failing" that it is succeeding. Most of the time, hypotheses that you come up with are wrong, or there are not enough results to come to a conclusion at all. The biggest lesson to learn was that no results are still results, or in other words, just because you thought some process would happen and it didn't, doesn't mean your experiment was a fail. You still learned something that is just as interesting and valuable as your hypothesis being correct! The most important thing is to use that knowledge to come up with a new question-- this is where innovative, groundbreaking science comes from!

  • Profile Question 3
    Can you share a funny/interesting lab or field story?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    One time, when working late after school on a lab project extracting proteins from bacteria, we were finishing up cleaning the lab equipment we used and making sure that none of the glassware or tools still had live bacteria on it before we washed them in the sink. To do this, we filled the glassware with bleach and waited 10-15 minutes. However, there was another solution we were using in the beakers that, when mixed with bleach, turns a yellowish brown color and emits a strong odor. My lab mentor wanted to show us this reaction, and so to demonstrate mixed the bleach with the solution in several of the beakers. However, we were not accounting for volume of the reaction that took place, and soon the lab smelled terrible and we were all coughing from the fumes. We decided we would have to leave the dishes overnight, and come back to clean them in the morning when there were no longer toxic fumes. This story is funny now, but it taught a very important lesson: even if you think nothing bad will happen, always use the best safety practices and operate under the assumption that something can always go wrong.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    Botanical Society of America

  • Challenge, ELL, Honors
    Academically Challenged
    Honors or AP - Advanced Placement

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

Recent Posts

Solar Solanums Evelyn Elkington

Thank you so much! I really enjoyed seeing the project y'all did and I hope you continue to do plant science in the future!

Solar Solanums Evelyn Elkington

Wow! Even though there seems to be not just one "winner" you can see that all the types of light had different effects on the plants. This could be helpful in determining what light to use if the area you are growing in has certain…

loscashmanwosspring2024 project 13 Evelyn Elkington

Sorry to hear that your plants in group A died, but I am glad that you got results to prove your hypothesis!

It is important to remember that in science, no results are still results! In other words, even if nothing happened in your experiment…


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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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