Nicholas John Deacon


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Minnesota

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in understanding, maintaining, and restoring plant diversity. My research has focussed on tree species and populations that are important components of their biological community and are also under threat. I use tools to characterize the diversity present in naturally occurring populations such as genetic variation and morphological or trait variability. Most of my projects have involved providing results and recommendations to land managers with the goal of preserving or enhancing remnant plant populations.

  • 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've wanted to be a scientist since somewhere around 1st or 2nd grade. I had great teachers and role models and loved to be outside "discovering" everything I could in my rural, small town. In college I took courses one summer at a field station and my professor there suggested I pursue graduate school. I worked for conservation organizations prior to graduate school so I wanted to combine my practical experiences and compassion for the natural world with the rigorous research that could inform meaningful action.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    My current project involves a hybrid aspen tree species. We recently determined who the parental species are to our hybrid and one of the parent species is currently found over 500 miles away from the hybrid population. So, we've found the remnants of a hybridization event that probably occurred a few thousand years ago and the trees we're studying have been vegetatively reproducing in isolation since that time.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Failure is a constant part of being a scientist and sometimes that is hard to take. I think this is similar to lots of other professions as well but in scientific research, failure is almost mandatory prior to any success. You learn a lot from failure and it's how science advances but at that same time it can be challenging to mentally overcome.

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    (not set)

Recent Posts

bill nye the planting guy Nicholas John Deacon

One last question I have is about replication. Ideally you would have done each distance and CO2 treatment several times so you could report the averages in your figures. I'm not sure if you have time to repeat the experiments but you don't…

bill nye the planting guy Nicholas John Deacon

I took a look at your Excel results file and it looks like you have some really nice/clear outcomes.  A couple questions/comments:

1. You stated earlier that your hypothesis was about the distance away from the light source but your graphs…

bill nye the planting guy Nicholas John Deacon

The experimental design sounds great. How many trials of each distance and control did you have? Yes, please share the data sheet and I'll try to comment on some analytical thoughts.

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