In Plain English

In Plain English: Julie Noor

March 23, 2015

As Lab Coordinator for the Gateway to Genetics and Evolution course Julie Noor is responsible for designing and implementing experiments...

In Plain English: Diana Nemergut

March 18, 2015

In 1995 Diana Nemergut was one of the first Americorps volunteers, and helped to build community gardens in New Orleans.  It changed her...

In Plain English: Alyssa Perz-Edwards

November 05, 2014

Alyssa Perz-Edwards works far away on East Campus as Assistant Dean for pre-health majors. She works with many students but her special...

In Plain English: Dave McClay

November 05, 2014

How does the embryo build itself? asks Dave McClay. It starts with a single cell containing the complete DNA instructions, but some cells...

In Plain English: John Mercer

August 11, 2015

Before going to college John Mercer joined the Navy.  See the world!  Experience life!  After much training John became a reactor operator...

In Plain English: Paul Magwene

August 11, 2015

Deep in the darkest recesses of a cell something determines its fate:  How will it react to food or famine?  Should it grow and divide?  ...

In Plain English: Chantal Reid

June 29, 2015

Chantal Reid is excited about teaching “How Plants Feed and Fuel the World.” She and Jim Siedow have taught it before, but this time is...

In Plain English: Zhen-Ming Pei

June 29, 2015

Zhen-Ming Pei wants to understand how plants sense basic aspects of their environment: salt, temperature and most of all, water. They do...

In Plain English: John Willis

August 11, 2015

John Willis loves figuring things out--specifically, how the wildflower Mimulus adapts to different environments. Colonies adapt to...

In Plain English: Alec Motten

August 11, 2015

Alec Motten is excited about bioluminescence—live creatures that glow in the dark.  The lab for Organismal Diversity gives him an excuse to...

In Plain English: Vikas Bhandawat

August 07, 2015

Vikas Bhandawat chose to study the sense of smell in fruit flies because it is so much simpler than sight. Less than 10,000 neurons! But...

In Plain English: Sam Johnson

August 11, 2015

The great scientist Sir Isaac Newton formulated his theory of light, indispensable to using microscopes and telescopes, at Cambridge...

In Plain English: Nina Tang Sherwood

August 11, 2015

Fruit flies live long enough to have degenerative diseases?  Yes, and Nina Sherwood studies one that impairs the ability to walk.  A...

In Plain English: Terry Corliss

August 11, 2015

Terry Corliss started collecting insects at age 5 and progressed to fish, reptiles and eventually microbes.  Now she leads a hard-working...

In Plain English: Meng Chen

August 11, 2015

Meng Chen got his job by accident; that is, he accidentally discovered a mutant while he was a post-doc, and now his lab is defining a new...

In Plain English: Michael Barnes

August 11, 2015

Down behind the French building, far from the mailroom and offices, the labs on upper floors and the subterranean teaching space, there is...

In Plain English: Rytas Vilgalys

June 23, 2015

“It’s a good time to be a mycologist,” says Rytas Vilgalys. Rytas began by learning the edible and inedible mushrooms at his Muka’s (...

In Plain English: Fred Nijhout

August 11, 2015

Animals come in all sizes, but how does an animal know when it’s grown to the right size?  That’s been puzzling Fred Nijhout for a long...

In Plain English: Katia Koelle

August 07, 2015

Like many people today, Katia Koelle is fascinated by ancestry. But she's not tracing her family tree; instead, she uses sophisticated...

In Plain English: Eric Spana

June 29, 2015

Eric Spana just finished running “Nerd Camp”—that is, pSearch, a pre-orientation program introducing freshmen to research. All day for 2...