Juan Gilberto García-Cancel


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Texas Tech University

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research interests broadly speaking are restoration ecology, invasion biology, grass-woody plants dynamics and tropical dry forest dynamics. Currently my research will focus on non-native grasses and their effects on native ecosystems in semi-arid lands in Texas and the island Puerto Rico. I will study possible range expansion of these grasses due to changing climate patterns, their current effects in the soil nutrients and water dynamics and finally greenhouse experiments between the non-native grasses and native plants that might enter into contact as the invasives begin their expansions.

  • 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):
    Early in life I have been attracted to biology and it has always held a fascination in my mind. This fascination was focused towards plant life, which intrigued me, but it was only once I started my undergraduate degree that I was able to explore the areas of plant biology, such as the field of plant ecology. While working on my bachelor's degree, I was accepted as a summer REU student in El Verde Field Station in El Yunque Experimental Forest in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. During that summer, I studied the association between bryophytes and riparian epiphytic orchids and assisted in the population census of the studied orchid. This particular experience cemented my life- long attraction and interest in field ecology with plants as well as becoming enthusiastic about conducting field-based research.

  • Profile Question 2
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    Curiousity. I have always been fascinated with the natural world and I have always loved to learn more about it, to understand it, to appreciate it. To learn why things did the things they did.

  • Profile Question 3
    What lessons have you learned in your career about how science works?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Always be consistent in your data collection (taking notes), be sure you have fully thought-out your experiments and bad data is still data.

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

Skills & Endorsements

  • No skills have been endorsed yet.