Jennifer Bufford


  • Time Zone
    New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT, GMT +13)

  • Organization
    Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I study invasive plants - plants that humans move to another area that escape and spread on their own. I am especially interested in how plants become invasive, and I study seeds, plant growth, and interactions between invasive species and other plants and animals. I explore these issues using field experiments and I am also interested in using statistics to help us understand what happens in the natural world.

  • 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 become a scientist when I was in high school. We started doing experiments, which I thought were pretty fun, and I was always interested in the natural world and how it worked, but what really inspired me to become a scientist was realizing how many things we still don't know. I am really excited to discover new things and help us understand the world better.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    On most mornings, I ride my bike into work. At work, I might spend some time outside checking on plants for my experiment, or spend time on the computer making graphs of my data and doing statistics to understand my results. I also spend a lot of time writing about what I've found or what I want to do next, so I can communicate it to other scientists. Sometimes I have meetings with other people to talk about the experiments we are planning, or are currently doing, or have finished and are writing about. Sometimes I listen to other people talk about what they have done, or read papers that tell me what scientists working in other parts of the world have discovered. I love being able to do lots of different things at work, and I enjoy working with other people who like plants and are curious about the world.

  • Profile Question 3
    Do you have advice for students about preparing for a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Science starts with observations and curiosity. The first step is to start paying attention to the world around you and asking questions! Then you have to figure out how to answer your questions. You should take a mix of science courses so you have a good background and can discover what area you like best - take biology, chemistry and physics, and don't be afraid of them because some people say they are hard. You should also study math, because math and statistics are really important to any job in science. Finally, get some experience with research projects - volunteer to work with researchers at a nearby university or park or find ways to do experiments in your classes. It will help you know what you like to do, and will give you important skills for a job in science.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    (not set)

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

Recent Posts

The Five Plants Jennifer Bufford

Hi Five Plants,

Thanks for uploading your journals and updating your info - it's great to see your conclusions.  I like the new graphs you made.  They really show how the plants grew over time, which is cool.  The difference…

The Five Plants Jennifer Bufford

Hi Team,

Thanks for sharing your graphs and your journals.  It's great to see your final results!  Congrats on completing your experiment!

You asked for some tips.  Your graphs look good, but try to keep the number of lines…

CHS Gaston Team Jennifer Bufford

Hi team,

I'm sorry to hear that you won't have time to finish your experiments, but I hope you enjoyed learning about plants and photosynthesis!  I enjoyed talking with you and wish you all the best for the rest of your school year!

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