Mary A. Bancroft Memorial Scholarship
2012 Recipient: Miranda Gray
- Graduate student
- Plant Pathology
- Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Bringing Genomics Outdoors: Drought Implications for Big Bluestem Grassland Conservation and Restoration
Personal Interest in Plants
My curiosity and passion about plants was deeply sown when I enrolled in Dr. Roxanne Fisher’s course entitled “Plant Explorers” my second semester of undergraduate, which included a brief introduction to plants such as the savage pitcher plant and mistletoe. Dr. Fisher taught the lifestyle and nature of these plants with a passion for them herself which also got me hooked, leaving me to delve into Kingdom Plantae in the following semesters. I joined her laboratory for a research experience working with the less attention-grabbing but fascinating fern, Ceratopteris richardii (C-fern), where I determined hormone application effects on development. My experiences led me to take courses in plant physiology and minor in botany. Taking plant physiology, I became interested in abiotic plant stress response, the complex phytohormone response of plants, circadian rhythm, and stress-induced signaling pathways; this is how I first came to appreciate how important understanding plant physiology may become as humans seek to restore ecosystems challenged by climate change.