Gregory J Pec


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Employment Status
    University / College Faculty

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research focuses on the belowground interactions between plants, microbes, and their environment. I am specifically interested on the role biological invasions, biotic disturbance, and global change play in shaping the structure and, in turn, the functioning of plant and soil microbial communities.

  • 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 liked many disciplines in science (biology, chemistry) and had a love for the environment, being outside and discovering what was around the corner on my weekly hikes through the forest. However, it wasn't until I was an undergraduate at university that my interest in teaching would reignite my passion for science. While as a sophomore, I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for a botany course, and as they say, the rest is history. The teaching opportunity opened the possibilities of a career in academia and I realized that I could combine and share my love of the environment and the outdoors with my scientific interests.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    Its about learning and discovery! Its about figuring out how things are connected and answering questions (at least for me) on why everything isn't everywhere. Its the challenge of trying to figure things out and that every question leads to another question!

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Growing up on the east coast of the US, I read about, looked at pictures and dreamed about one day seeing a coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. When I finally made it to the Muir woods in northern California, it was awe-inspiring! Redwoods can grow over 300 feet tall and can live for hundreds if not a thousand years plus. Redwoods can capture water from fog moving off the ocean, which drips down and nourishes the plant communities below. Hundreds of epiphytic communities can be supported within a single redwood tree. Ultimately, these redwoods play a major role in coastal forest ecosystems and If you ever get the opportunity to see one of these giants in person, I hope you will see why this is my favorite plant!

  • Availability
    I am currently available for mentoring, please send me team match invitations

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:

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

Recent Posts

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Skills & Endorsements

  • Challenges Student Thinking
    Eleanore Ritter
  • Encouraging
    Eleanore Ritter
  • Experienced
    Eleanore Ritter
  • Knowledgeable
    Eleanore Ritter
  • Responsive
    Eleanore Ritter