The Birth of a Flower

Unlike animals, plants possess the ability to generate new tissues and organs throughout their entire lifespans due to the activity of stem cells located in specific sites termed meristems. During the reproductive phase, floral meristem (lower right dome-shaped structure) give rise to different floral organ primordia (the series of bulges), which will eventually grow into the sepals, petals, stamens, staminodia, and carpels of a beautiful … Continue reading The Birth of a Flower

Min Ya

My name is Min Ya, or Ya Min, but I go by Minya. I was born and raised in China. Heavily influenced by my botany-enthusiast father, I have been a plant lover since I was very little. Before grad school, I finished my undergrad in China and Japan, and obtained dual Master’s Degree in Sweden and France. Although the subfields of biology varied between my … Continue reading Min Ya

Diamonds in the Leaf

This cross section of an oleander (Nerium oleander) leaf reveals two beautiful mineral crystals inside. Leaf cells are stained red. Adapted to dry conditions, this leaf possess three epidermal layers to prevent water loss, below which there are tightly packed palisade mesophyll cells that are specialized for harvesting light and loosely packed spongy mesophyll cells allowing efficient gas exchange. These calcium oxalate crystals are deposited by specialized … Continue reading Diamonds in the Leaf

Exploring the Quantum World: From Plants to Pulsars

Exploring the Quantum World: From Plants to Pulsars

Presented by Mike Goldman, Joey Goodknight, and Tansu Daylan What do the interior of an atom, the bottom of a volcanic caldera, and the center of the sun have in common? Mike will begin with an introduction to quantum mechanics, which explores its relationship with our everyday world. Some aspects of the quantum world seem perfectly sensible but other concepts, like superposition, are deeply counterintuitive. … Continue reading Exploring the Quantum World: From Plants to Pulsars

Investigating Symbiosis in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants

Presented by Leonora Bittleston The idea of a plant eating an animal is very strange. Scientists were ridiculed when they originally suggested plants could be carnivorous. But now we know that carnivory has actually evolved multiple times in plants, in a pattern called convergent evolution. My lecture will discuss how pitcher plants are perfect examples of this, as their particular form has evolved three separate … Continue reading Investigating Symbiosis in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants

Farmers Market Finds: Do you really know what’s in your basket?

As the daylight hours lengthen and the first signs of spring abound, farmers markets are popping up from coast to coast. With so many tasty edibles ranging from fresh produce to baked goods, it’s no wonder people flock to their local farmers market to spend the afternoon strolling among the displays. It can be easy to set out for a few veggies and to come … Continue reading Farmers Market Finds: Do you really know what’s in your basket?