Molly M Miller


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of South Alabama and Dauphin Island Sea Lab

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Plant physiological ecology, invasive species ecology, marine botany, submerged aquatic plant ecology, marine biology

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    The best part of being a scientist is that we get to spend our time solving real world problems that can have an impact on quite a large number of people. It is really a blast to be able to come to work every day and work to solve a small problem that can have a large impact on so many. In addition, we get to do experiments! It is very cool to be able to spend my days manipulating one variable at a time to see what leads to a change in the biology of the organism being studied.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    Science in often like a roller coaster ride. We tend to spend a lot of time in the "valleys" of those roller coaster rides by testing things over and over and over again and often not getting useful results. This can get very frustrating. However, when good results come in it is as exciting as reaching the top of the roller coaster. And, ultimately, those "roller coaster highs" are what keep me moving forward each day through the frustrating times.

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Hydrilla verticillata. This is one of the invasive species I study. It is a wicked cool plant because it has the capacity to switch between C3 and C4 photosynthesis when environmental conditions change. The plant performs C4 photosynthesis in a much different way than terrestrial or common C4 plants by doing this type of photosynthesis in only a single cell. In addition, this plant has never been seen sexually reproducing in the field. This results in a very effective way to reproduce which has lead to its competitive success in the field. However, it is interesting because it really limits the ability of this species to adapt to change over time.

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