Ben Roosa


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research interests are quite broad. I love nature and exploring how ecosystems fit together and function. I am also interested in how we as humans relate to and alter the ecosystems we live in. For my master's project, I am studying how soils respond to restoration. Specifically, I am using several soil properties are indicators of and/or play a significant role in the health of the ecosystem. I will be measuring these properties in former agricultural fields that have recently been reforested and trying to determine if restoration is successfully improving the ecosystem's functioning and how quickly the soil properties are changing. I will be measuring the same qualities in agricultural fields and mature forests for reference.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    The coolest thing I've discovered about plants is how interconnected they are with other parts of the ecosystem, including us! Plants and pollinators are perhaps the most obvious example of these connections with both parties relying on the other for the survival of their species. In a less friendly example, herbivores and plants are engaged in an evolutionary arms race in which plants adapt protection to keep from being eaten and herbivores adapt ways to overcome these protections leading to the need for further protection, and so on. The tastiest example would be that of agriculture in which plants and humans rely on each other. There are countless other examples of plant relationships, each of which plays an important part in the ecosystems where they occur.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I think the best part of being a scientist is getting to explore and contribute to the things that you are interested in and curious about. As someone who loves being outside, I love that being a scientist allows me to work in nature and help to protect it. Being a scientist can also be incredibly empowering because you can make a big difference for causes you care about like better understanding how the world works or figuring out how to protect an endangered species or so many other things. I love being a scientist because the world is huge and complex and wonderful and I never want to stop exploring!

  • Profile Question 3
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    It's so hard to pick just one favorite plant, but I think I'll have to go with the American sycamore. These trees have such fun, splotchy bark (which, by the way, can photosynthesize!) that makes them easy to recognize even from far away. I can remember climbing their wavy branches as a kid, enjoying the scenery of the stream that they are generally growing nearby, and playing with their seed balls which seem solid at first but eventually puffs into a bunch of seeds to be carried off by the wind. A close relative, the London plane tree, is a common street tree that offers a friendly face in towns and cities

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

  • 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?

Skills & Endorsements

  • No skills have been endorsed yet.