Archive for April 30th, 2013

April 30, 2013

Follow the Fellows: Learning How Invasive Plants Affect Butterfly Populations

by Melissa Harding

Davis head photo new

The Botany in Action Fellowship program at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens fosters the development of a next generation of plant-based scientists who are committed, first, to excellent research, and second, to educational outreach. Open to PhD students enrolled at US graduate institutions and conducting plant-based scientific field research, the BIA program provides Fellows with funding for use towards field research in the US or abroad and a trip to Phipps, to engage in science outreach training and opportunities to share his or her research to public audiences.

Current BIA Fellows are engaged in research in locales from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Illinois to Nepal, India, and Brazil. Their work covers topics ranging from the role of green roofs in urban biodiversity and the influence of heavy metal soil pollution on plants and pollinators to identification of plants used by healers that protect brain cells from the progression of Parkinson’s disease

November’s featured fellow is Samantha Davis. Samantha is PhD student at Wright State University in Ohio. She is researching how garlic mustard, an invasive plant that occurs all over the northeast, is influencing a rare butterfly, the West Virginia White. Garlic mustard is ruining many of our natural areas. Sam’s work can help discover how and why garlic mustard affects our ecosystem, and what we can do to prevent more damage.

Read an update on Sam’s research and life as a scientist at the Botany In Action website! You can also learn more about her work on her blog, Tracking the West Virgina White.

You can follow Sam and all of the BIA as they study plants across the US and across the world at the Follow the Fellows section of our Botany In Action website.

The following Botany In Action update was written by Amanda Joy, Botany in Action Fellowship coordinator.

The above image was provided by Samantha Davis.


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