Botany Research


Happy International Darwin Day!

While Charles Darwin is most known for his work on the theory of evolution and natural selection, did you know that he also performed groundbreaking research in botany? Charles Darwin, along with his son Francis Darwin performed important experiments on the physiological mechanisms behind plant movements outlined in their book “The Power of Movement in Plants”. The Darwins discovered that phototropism, the movement of plants in response to light, was controlled by something located in the tips of growing shoots. By subjecting seedlings with their growing tips intact or with their growing tips removed to light, the Darwins were able to determine that something in the growing tip enabled the plant to respond to the light stimulus. Today, we know that the plant hormone auxin is responsible for phototropism, among other physiological processes, but it was the Darwin’s experiments that revealed that this plant hormone was concentrated in the growing tips of plants and helped to lay the foundation for future plant physiology research!

Follow for more plant facts and photos!

Fieldwork, from plant fossils to robotics

“Thousands of US groundwater aquifers have been inadvertently contaminated with chlorinated solvents, such as perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE). Chlorinated solvents are both toxic and persistent and classified as possible carcinogens by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. I am investigating the reaction of these chemicals with iron minerals commonly found in the soil. I synthesize iron and sulfur bearing minerals and monitor reactions in experiments with PCE or TCE. We hypothesize that these minerals are one natural pathway that transforms these contaminants to benign products.”

– Johnathan D. Culpepper, graduate research assistant, The University of Iowa

“The definitions of race and crime change. Criminology is a multidisciplinary field that combines my interest in human behavior and the diverse ways societies define deviance and race. I am generally interested in social institutions, racial ideology, inequality and social disorganization theory. For example, one of my current projects examines the link between African American-owned businesses and urban crime. Additionally, I am exploring how pre-hire psychological screenings impact adverse correctional employee behavior. As a former correctional officer, I am proud of scientifically addressing issues that may have implications on policy and practice by establishing research relationships with institutions.”

– TaLisa J. Carter, Ph.D. student, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware

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Temporary Field Technician Wanted for Vegetation Study in North Carolina

Agency: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Otto, NC
Job Category: Field technician
Salary: TBD
Start Date: May 30th
Last Date to Apply: March 15th


A full-time temporary field technician is needed to assist with vegetation data collection at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Otto, NC. The position is ~40 hours per week (hours may vary by week) starting approximately May 30th and continuing into late July. No overtime. Exact start date negotiable. Specific hours may change by week. Work will be conducted in forested mountain slopes. Duties include assisting with experimental setup, data collection, and lots of plant identification.

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree in biology or related natural sciences discipline. Experience in vegetation inventory and plant identification is required. Applicants should have a strong interest, coursework, and/or experience working in botany, ecology, or related field. Technician must be able to provide their own transportation to the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory by the start date. Housing will be provided. Experience working in eastern forests or using scientific equipment - GPS unit, compass, PAR meter, soil probes, standard vegetation field guides and keys, etc. are essential.  

Candidates must be in good physical shape with the ability to stand or walk for long periods of time (up to 10 hours per day) over uneven terrain in all weather conditions. Must have the ability to lift and carry up to 30 pounds while standing or walking. Moderate risks walking in rough terrain. Other risks include, but are not limited to, snake or insect bites or stings, exposure to sun, and exposure to extreme or adverse weather conditions including heat, cold, high humidity, and rain.

Send a cover letter, CV or resume, and a list of 3 references (phone numbers and email addresses) to

Contact Person:
Matt Candeias


Freelance Botanist: Loves outdoors | Genius | Outgoing

George Washington Carver aka “Mr. Peanut”

Born in 1860 in Diamond Grove, MO. First African American faculty at Iowa State University f/k/a Iowa Agricultural College where he researched in botany and agriculture. Known for his research using peanuts and various other products. 

“He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce of Britain in 1916, the Spingarn Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1923, and in 1939 was awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Medal for “distinguished research in agricultural chemistry.” He was appointed to various boards and committees by the United States Department of Agriculture and was named Man of the Year in 1940 by the International Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians. Last but not least, he was awarded Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Simpson College as well as the University of Rochester.” Source
JRF and Project Fellow Position @ University of Calcutta | Life Sciences

JRF and Project Fellow Position @ University of Calcutta | #Environmental #Science, #Life #Science, #Biotech, #Microbiology, #Biochemistry

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The University of Calcutta is a public state university located in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), West Bengal, India established on 24 January 1857. It was the first institution in Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western-style university.[citation needed] Within India it is recognized as a “Five-Star University” and a “Centre with Potential for Excellence” by the…

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Space Station Back At Dusk / See Orion’s Curlicue and Five Dawn Planets

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I hadn’t been paying attention, so I was pleasantly surprised two nights ago to see the International Space Station (ISS) made a bright pass in the southwestern sky. A quick check revealed that another round of evening passes had begun for locations across the central and northern U.S., Canada and Europe.  I like the evening ones because they’re so much convenient to view than those that occur at dawn. You can find out when the space station passes over your house at NASA’s Spot the Station site or Heavens Above.The six-member Expedition 46 crew are wrapping up their work week on different types of research including botany, bone loss and pilot testing. Plants are being grown on the International Space Station so future crews can learn to become self-sustainable as they go farther out in space. While they work their jobs speeding at more than 17,000 mph overhead, we carry on here on the surface of the blue planet.U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly regularly tweets photos from the station and recently noted the passing of Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who died Thursday at age 85 on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing on February 5, 1971. Mitchell was one of only 12 people to walk on the moon and described the experience to the UK Telegraph in 2014: Relive the Mitchell’s Apollo 14 mission to the moon in 9 minutes and 57 seconds“Looking at Earth from space and seeing it was a planet in isolation … that was an experience of ecstasy, realizing that every molecule in our bodies is a system of matter created from a star hanging in space. The experience I had was called Samadhi in the ancient Sanskrit, a feeling of overwhelming joy at seeing the Earth from that perspective."Only a human could stand in so barren and forbidding a place and experience such profound joy. You don’t have to go to the moon to be moved by sights in the night. Just step outside and watch the ISS glide by or grab a pair of binoculars and aim them at Orion’s Belt. Orion stands due south around 8 o'clock in in mid-February practically shouting to be looked at.The Belt is lovely enough, but its surroundings glitter with stars just below the naked eye limit, in particular a little curlicue or "S” between Alnilam and Mintaka composed of 6th and 7th magnitude stars. Look for it in any pair of binoculars and don’t stop there. Take a few minutes to sweep the area and enjoy the starry goodness about then drop a field of view south for a look at the Orion Nebula. Inside this fuzzy spot 10 light years across and 1,350 light years away, hundreds of new stars are incubating, waiting for the day they can blaze forth like their compadres that make up the rest of Orion.After touting the advantages of evening sky watching, forgive me if I also direct you to the morning sky and potential sleep loss. Although the waning crescent moon has now departed the scene, the wonderful alignment of Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter remains visible in the coming week even as Mercury slowly sinks back toward the eastern horizon. If you haven’t seen this “gang of 5”, set your alarm for a look starting about an hour before sunrise.Find a location with as wide open a view as possible of the southeastern horizon. Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are plenty high up at that time and easy to spot, but Venus and Mercury hover only 5°-10° high. Both will pose no problem if you can get the trees and buildings out of the way! By the end of the coming week, Mercury will become challenging and then slip away.Clear skies!

The post Space Station Back At Dusk / See Orion’s Curlicue and Five Dawn Planets appeared first on Universe Today.

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JRF and SRF Position @ The University of Hyderabad

JRF and SRF Position @ The University of Hyderabad | #Plant #Sciences, #Botany, #Biochemistry, #Biotechnology, #Biosciences, #Life #Sciences

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The University of Hyderabad (UoH), one of the major institutions of higher education in India is largely devoted to postgraduate studies and is widely known for its excellence in research and for its distinguished faculty. Founded in 1974 with Prof. Gurbaksh Singh as its first Vice Chancellor, UoH – also known as Hyderabad Central University or HCU- has emerged as a leading centre of teaching and…

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SRF / Lab Assistant Position @ NBPGR Thrissur | Agriculture

#SRF / #Lab #Assistant Position @ NBPGR Thrissur | #Agriculture, #Horticulture, #Botany, #Genetics & #Plant #Breeding

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The establishment of the Bureau coincided with the advent of the Green Revolution and was in response to the realization of perceived effects of the Green Revolution on agrobiodiversity. Further, it was in accordance with the international developments in the form of establishment of the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR), Rome, in 1974 (now renamed as International Plant…

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SRF position Walk-ins @ NBPGR | Genetics, Plant Breeding

#SRF position #Walk-ins @ NBPGR | #Genetics, #Plant #Breeding, #Botany, #Agriculture

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A walk-in interview will be held at this Regional Station for the following posts purely temporary and co-terminus basis under the ICAR Extramural Project on “ Pre-breeding for transfer of Okra Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus and Enation Leaf Curl Virus tolerance from wild relatives to cultivated genepool ” funded by ICAR, New Delhi.   Position: Senior Research Fellow Date of interview: 02-03-2016 10 AM…

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Project Assistant position available @ ICAR-IISS | Biotany, Chemistry

#Project #Assistant position available @ ICAR-IISS | #Biotany, #Chemistry, #Agriculture

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The Indian institute of Soil Science (ICAR-IISS) was established on 16th April, 1988 at Bhopal with a mandate of “Enhancing Soil Productivity with Minimum Environmental Degradation”. To accomplish the mandate of the institute, it has given the priority to soil health related issues faced by farmers and other stakeholders. Project Assistant position available @ ICAR-IISS | Biotany, Chemistry   Job…

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Project Assistant Position @ BHU | Botany / Biochemistry

#Project #Assistant Position @ BHU | #Botany / #Biochemistry / #Biotechnology, #Environmental #Science

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Banaras Hindu University commonly referred to as BHU; formerly known as Central Hindu College) is a public central university located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1916 by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, BHU is one of the largest residential universities in Asia, with over 20,000 students. The university comprises all castes, creeds, religions and genders, and is on the list of…

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JRF Position @ Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University

#JRF #Position @ Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University | #Forestry, #Environment #science, #Botany

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Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University was established as a State University vide U.P. State Government notification no. (10)/(865)/15/(75)(85)/64 dated 23 November 1973. It has a rare distinction of taking birth through a powerful popular movement during early seventies in last century. This movement symbolized the hopes and aspirations of the masses of the region of Garhwal for the…

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