Andrew Muehleisen


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Yale University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I'm interested in how stressful environmental conditions, such as drought or herbivory, lead to adaptation within plants during their lifetime, and ultimately how both stress and adaptation determine where certain species can and can't survive. The causes of high diversity in tropical plants are another primary interest of mine, and I've done most of my research until this point in Central and South American tropical forests.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    To a degree, you get to be your own boss. I'm still a doctoral student and I generally defer to the recommendations of my advisor, but the research I do is my own. So I generally get to decide what my work day looks like and the sort of activities that occupy my time. Generating new knowledge is incredibly rewarding when it works out. You get to say that you've found something that no one has ever known before, which is a unique contribution to society no matter how big or small the discovery. And honestly, if you really love a specific subject (i.e. you're a nerd), then its just fun that you get paid to think about it all day while collaborating with others who share your interests.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    Being your own boss can be hard sometimes. You're responsible for managing your time wisely, and if something unexpected happens or goes wrong, there's not necessarily anyone else to turn to for help. While developing your own research sounds fun (and is), its also a difficult process to conceive of a good idea, figure out how to make it happen with limited time and resources, and then implement it as perfectly as you can. Additionally, no matter how good the idea, sometimes a project that you've potentially put months of your life into doesn't work out for whatever reason. You must be open to the possibility of occasional failure and disappointment alongside success if you want to do science.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    That depends on whether I'm actively collecting data for a study or not. If I'm in the middle of a field study, then I'm usually living in a tropical country either at or near a field station, and making daily trips into the forest to collect data. This might involve setting out plots, taking various measurements of plants, or collecting samples to analyze in a laboratory. I spent about a quarter of the year in the field. I also run greenhouse experiments which involve much of the same activities, only at home (in CT). If I'm not actively collecting data, I'm probably processing or analyzing data from a study and writing up the results. A typical day of this involves constant work on a computer using programming and statistics to determine my results, and word processing to turn them into a publication. Finally, I have active teaching requirements, and during the school year I'm usually a teaching assistant for a class. This involves helping students with any questions they might have out of class, grading their tests/assignments, and acting as a liaison between the professor and the class .

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

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

Skills & Endorsements

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