Showing posts from August, 2013

7 Ways to Make to Most Out of Your First National Conference

A few weeks ago, I attended my first national conference, Botanical Society of America’s Botany 2013 Celebrating Diversity! (BSA) in New Orleans, LA. Here are 7 lessons I learned along the way: 1 )       Go to the big conferences, even if you don’t have a lot of data yet I just finished up my first year of my PhD program, and I didn't have a lot of “real” data to speak of. So I did what I could, and presented a poster outlining my doctoral thesis proposal. Unexpectedly, I got so much valuable, constructive feedback from experts in my field.  I really valued this experience, because at this stage in my program, that feedback provided me with new perspectives on my project before I execute it. Plus, I got to know PI’s, post-docs, and graduate students from other universities that expressed interest in collaborating with me in the future. 2 )       Attend the student professional development luncheons, mixers, etc. At BSA, there were ample opportunities provided to us a

What is Algae?

What is algae? This seems like a very simple and easy to answer question. Surprisingly though, many people (even those doing research on specific groups of algae like me), have a tough time answering this question. Mainly, I think this is because we rarely get this question from other people (scientists or laypeople). Also, since science often encourages you to focus your research questions, we rarely have to even think about how a specific group of algae is related to other groups of algae, or how algae fits into the evolutionary scheme of other living organisms (are algae plants or animals?...).  Anabaena , a common genus of cyanobacteria (aka "blue-green algae").