Tag Archives: as

‘Life as Research Scientist’: Anna Troupe, Creative Designer and Social Thinker

Anna Marie Troupe was born in Mississippi in 1977 and grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. The fifth daughter of a mechanical engineer and an administrative assistant, Anna made a point of pushing the boundaries of her creativity. She studied furniture design at Savannah College of Art and Design and had the honor of exhibiting a chair at the Salone del Mobila in Milan, Italy. Her work was also published in a book called, “Creative Solutions for Unusual Projects.”

Anna began blogging about humanitarian design in 2008 as the social design movement was just gaining steam. In 2011, she won a fabric design competition that was created to support the weaving communities of Bangladesh and preserve their traditional craft. Upon discovering that she lived near the top-ranking textile program in the world, Anna entered NCSU’s College of Textiles and was hired to study sustainability. An invitation to present on the United Nations’ Agenda 21 guided her research towards sustainable development, as did the recent industry disasters occurring in Bangladesh. Anna graduated in July 2014 and continues to pursue her ideas for helping the textiles and clothing industry become ethical and beneficial to society.

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Anna Troupe:  I’m very interested in sustainable development, particularly social equality. The global textiles and clothing industry is fundamental to the development of nations and has an enormous impact socially, environmentally and economically. So my research addresses the social challenges in this sector which include creating humane workplaces, increasing the industry’s awareness of and commitment to sustainable development, and improving the integrity and efficiency of its manufacturing model. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Letitia Kotila, Family Scientist

Letitia Kotila is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University. Her research area focuses on parental involvement, coparenting, and couple relationships. Letitia has three children (ages 11, 9, and 2) with her husband. She enjoys playing sports, riding bikes, and watching movies with her family. She also enjoys cooking and baking. Often Letitia spends time on the weekends testing new recipes.

As part of our series on ‘life as research scientist’ we requested Letitia to answer few questions, and here is what we learned from her. So let’s join to hear from Family Scientist Letitia Kotila:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Letitia Kotila: This particular study broadly focuses on predictors of prenatal parenting behaviors, such as finding out the sex of an unborn child. This is the first study we know of in the U.S. to look at psychological predictors of finding out fetal sex, and we focused on three particular characteristics.  We looked at whether the mothers’ basic personality traits, her perfectionistic orientation toward parenting (i.e., setting unrealistically high standards), and her gender role ideologies (i.e., women and men should have separate roles) influenced whether or not she found out the sex of her child pre-birth. We found that mothers who were more open to experience were much less likely than other mothers to know the sex of their child, and that parenting perfectionists were slightly more likely than other mothers to know the sex.  We also found that when mothers held a less traditional gender role ideology and were conscientious, or able to set clear standards and follow through with them, they were much less likely than other mothers to know the sex of their unborn child. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Shelley Rogers, Entomologist

Shelley Rogers is an entomologist and farmer, living in Cedar Grove, North Carolina. She studied pollination, specifically blueberry pollination. Shelley is deeply passionate about biodiversity. Recently we spoke with Shelley about her research, current occupation and more.

So let’s join to our latest round of interview with Shelley Rogers on ‘life as research scientist’:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Shelley Rogers:  As a Master’s student, I studied pollination in agricultural ecosystems. I was specifically interested in blueberry pollination, and my research was focused around questions such as which bees are pollinating blueberry; do different pollinator species vary in the frequency of their visitation, their efficiency at pollinating blueberry, or with respect to the environment; and how do  these bees interact and affect one another. For my most recently published study, I wanted to see if successful blueberry pollination was related to bee species diversity, and, if so, how. I found that pollination increased with increasing diversity, and proposed several mechanisms underlying this relationship. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Carla Spence, Biologist

Carla Spence is graduating with a Ph.D in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Delaware in Summer 2014.  She entered graduate school after receiving her B.S. in biology from the same University.  She loves spending her leisure time with her husband, Sean, 2 years old son Trent, and her 8 months old daughter Callia.   

Recently we spoke with Miss Spence to know more about her research, especially regarding the study published in BMC Plant Biology (doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-130) and also about why it is important, how life as a research scientist is, and so on. So let’s go ahead:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Carla Spence:  The focus of this project is using natural soil microbes to increase the resistance of rice to blast disease.  Rice blast is caused by the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae.  We isolated bacteria from the rice rhizosphere, which is the soil surrounding the roots, and found one bacterium, EA105, which can drastically inhibit the growth of M. oryzae.  What’s more interesting is that rice roots can be treated with EA105 and this triggers a defense response in the plant called Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) which makes the rice plants more resistant to M. oryzae infection.  EA105 can protect rice from M. oryzae without physically coming into contact with the fungus.  (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Lauren Cruz, Wildlife Ecologist

Wildlife biologist Lauren Cruz is dedicated to the conservation of coastal ecosystems. She is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware and currently having a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation, Agricultural and Natural Resources and a minor in Entomology. Miss Cruz plans to pursue a M.S. in Marine Science. She attended the Brown University Environmental Leadership Lab on the Big Island of Hawai’i and participated in several projects in different wildlife fields while at the University of Delaware. During her summers, she worked at the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center where she lead kayak tours and taught visiting groups about the marsh ecosystem and its inhabitants.

As part of our series on ‘life as research scientist’ we approached Miss Cruz with our questions, and here we have the answers about her research and others:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Lauren Cruz:  I am currently working with The Leatherback Trust which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of leatherbacks and other sea turtle species. My team monitors the nesting ecology of leatherback, black and olive ridley sea turtles in Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (Leatherback National Marine Park) in Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Paying special attention to leatherbacks, we are adding to 20 years of continuous sea turtle data on this beach. Many biologists have conducted research on this beach and have filled many gaps in our understanding of leatherback ecology. Some examples include finding the incubation temperature at which sex is determined for leatherbacks, placing transmitters on leatherbacks to see where they migrate to after egg laying as well as monitoring the temperatures and possible effects climate change can have on turtle nesting. The leatherback population has dropped by about 98% since the start of the project.  (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Romain Fleury, Engineer

Due to deep passion for physics, Romain Fleury, after completion of his engineering diploma in France, joined the research group of Prof. Andrea Alù at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D degree. His research focuses on metamaterials, a new branch of science and technology that is making its way to maturity. To know and understand details about it and further more, let’s join our latest round of Q&A with the young and aspiring scientist – Mr. Romain Fleury:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Romain Fleury: I am involved in cross-disciplinary research in the general area of wave physics and engineering. This includes electromagnetic and acoustic waves, but also other types of waves such as matter waves (the probability amplitude wave associated with a quantum particle). To be more specific, my current research mainly focuses on metamaterials, which are artificial materials that are structured and engineered to interact with waves in anomalous ways, and enable exotic physical phenomena that cannot be obtained with natural materials. For example, unlike naturally occurring materials, the refractive index of some metamaterials can take very extreme values, like zero, extremely large, or even negative. Of course, metamaterials are made of natural materials, with common properties, but it is the way we mix and structure these natural building blocks that give metamaterials their new, superior properties. Metamaterials have spectacular applications, like invisibility. Part of my research is focused on studying the potentials of metamaterials for cloaking applications. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Kiwamu Tanaka, Plant Biologist

Dr. Kiwamu Tanaka, an aspiring scientist, is currently doing research on Role of extracellular ATP in plant growth and development at the Division of Plant Sciences in the University of Missouri. He completed his doctoral work at The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences in the Kagoshima University, Japan. Recently we spoke with Dr. Tanaka to know about his research work, especially regarding the study published in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6168.290), and also about why it is important, how life as a research scientist is, and so on. So let’s hear from Dr. Tanaka:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Dr. Kiwamu Tanaka: My scientific career has focused on plant-microbe interactions that can be utilized to enhance crop plant growth for agricultural purposes. Especially I had had a strong interest in biological nitrogen fixation by nodulation which is the result of a symbiosis between legume plants and special soil bacteria rhizobia. Nodulation results in the formation of a specialized organ, the nodule, where biological nitrogen fixation takes place. Given that plants cannot utilize aerial nitrogen, even though this is a primary nutrition for plants, nodulation is a great natural system by plant-microbe interaction. (more…)

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