Julie Fowler

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Central

  • Organization
    University of Nebraska Lincoln School of Natural Resources

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research interests throughout my time as an undergraduate researcher at Emory University mostly focused on pollinators and pollination biology. I have worked on DNA metabarcoding of pollen with applications in recreating pollination networks and in forensics and held jobs as field technicians for two separate studies through UC Riverside and Oregon State University catching pollinators in high elevation meadows and a range of managed forests, respectively, while taking note of the floral composition of the ecosystems and the visitation habits of the pollinators therein. Now I am entering into my graduate work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a part of the NSF NRT program in resilience in complex agroecosystems. I will be studying the invasion of Eastern Redcedar into the Great Plains and the effect this has on the soil chemical and microbial properties. I am also branching into the study of ecological resilience and complex systems.

  • Profile Question 1
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I had no idea that I wanted to be an environmental scientist! In fact, I wanted to be a journalist until my junior year of high school and then I wanted to be in public health tracking down the origins of rare diseases based on the exciting tales I had started to read about of disease hunters in popular science books. So science mattered to me as a means to an end in that goal, but honestly I wasn't all that engaged by high school sciences courses. The basics are crucial, yes, but it wasn't until I got to college and happened upon environmental sciences that I found a whole new world. Suddenly science had a mystical quality. Trees communicate with one another, flowers and their pollinators have evolved to matched physically in order to succeed evolutionary, and whole communities of microorganisms live out extraordinary processes right underneath our noses and you'd never know without a little bit of science. Those high school classes helped, yes, but I found popular science books and college courses to be the shock that really opened up my senses to the whole world of science out there. Explore for yourself!

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

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    Being around other scientists is pretty wonderful. They're terribly unique, highly driven, and have pursued an atypical course in life just out of sheer love for their discipline. I have had the great privilege of having many of my mentors also be female scientists who have shown me a path forward in my own career. Oh, and don't forget being able to have a question and find out the answer for yourself is pretty cool! Some things we just don't know yet and what better way to satisfy your curiosity than having the skills to answer them.

  • Profile Question 3
    Do you have advice for students about preparing for a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Forge relationships with all of the scientists, and science enthusiasts, that you meet. I had an anatomy teacher in high school who I was able to sit down with and talk about her life and path and that influenced me greatly, and nearly all of my opportunities during and after college have come as the result of the scientists I worked with and befriended. Don't be afraid to ask them about their lives over coffee or lunch and you'll be surprised the amount you can learn for your own science career even if their discipline varies from your own.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    Resilience Alliance Young Scholars
    Ecological Society of America

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    1

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