Plants and Pipettes is a blog aiming to share some of the amazing things that plants are quietly doing while we’re not watching (or even while we are). Plants produce the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat (or the food our food eats), and the fibres we wear, yet we sometimes overlook and underestimate them. Nonetheless, the current context of our growing population and growing resource demand, means that understanding plants and their potential is an absolute requirement for our continued survival.
When we talk about plants, we’ll focus on all anything with a chloroplast- from single celled algae, to alfalfa, to apple trees. Our focus is lab-based molecular biology, ranging from basic research to the more applied…. but we might also slip in some stories of related cool things happening in the scientific world.
And what about the pipettes?
Technically, a pipette (shown in our logo!) is precise liquid displacement device, used for taking a bit of liquid from one place, and putting it in another. More importantly, pipettes are tools that molecular biologists use every day- so we’re using them as a bit of a symbol for mol. biol. in general.
We hope that through our blog we can share some of the secrets of the wondrous world of plants
Research always fascinated me. Even before I knew the right word for it, I wanted to be “an inventor”, exploring the inner workings of things. Taking things apart, understanding the underlying processes and figuring out how to create all kinds of things still drives me today. This drove me to study first biotechnology and then change into molecular plant biology. I worked with tobacco and Arabidopsis and had a close look at their cellular processes.
For a while now, science communication from inside and outside the academia is a big part of me. Again, I am driven by the urge to understand and utilise techniques and create different kinds of media content. Podcasting is one of my strongest passions and so I am incredibly happy to have found in Tegan a perfect co-host for our little show. Together, we run this site and the podcast to bring you closer to our fascination with the molecular world of plant biology.
I think about half of the scientists I know start their story with David Attenborough. I watched ‘Life in the Freezer’ at the age of about 5, and was immediately convinced that I would be a conservation biologist studying antarctic penguins.
I studied both conservation biology and biochemistry at uni, and somehow became convinced that animals are not as quite as cool as plants. At the same time, I became deeply impressed with the way that molecular biology, which involves working with things at such a tiny scale, can be used to find answers to pretty big and important questions.
I am still working as a molecular biologist – my big thing is chloroplast development and gene regulation (so, apologies if you notice a bit of a skew on the site) – quite far away from my native Australia, and even further away from all of those penguins!