Field of Science

Mosses Winning Awards

Summer science conferences are in full swing and I am happy to report that our moss research has won some awards at two recent conferences!

Luke Busta presented our collaborative research studying cuticle waxes on mosses at the Phytochemical Society of America meeting. The cuticle is a layer of waxes and polymers that cover the surface of plants and prevents water loss. Luke is a chemistry graduate student in Dr. Reinhard Jetter's lab at the University of British Columbia. His talk, entitled "Cuticular waxes from the gametophyte, sporophyte, and calyptra of the moss Funaria hygrometrica" won the best student presentation at the meeting. This was his first national meeting and is a fabulous accomplishment!

I attended the Botanical Society of America meeting a couple of weeks back and one of my research publications from my PhD (citation below) won the Grady L. Webster award. This award is given for the "most outstanding paper published in the American Journal of Botany in the field of structural and developmental botany (i.e., anatomy and morphology) over the two-year period prior to the award year". I feel very honored receiving this award. As a scientist I publish my findings in research journals and people in my sub-field read them and then refer to/cite them in their own papers. In spite of getting the work out there for people to read, scientists rarely get direct feedback on what others think of their work. It is great to know that my scientific research is well-regarded by other botanists. 

Budke JM, Goffinet B, Jones CS. 2012. The cuticle on the gametophyte calyptra matures before the sporophyte cuticle in the moss Funaria hygrometrica (Funariaceae). AmericanJournal of Botany 99: 14-22.

Sharing these positive events here on the blog was inspired by reading this article on the Scientific American blog about academic life. One of her recommendations was to start a "feel good" email folder to remind yourself of kind words others have shared and happy successes to help you make it through tough times. These awards are headed to my "feel good" folder and I wanted to share them here too. Writing this blog has definitely had a positive influence on my professional life. It helps me stay focused on the interesting aspects of moss plant biology and allows me to share my thoughts on the latest science research on mosses. Thanks!

August 2013 Desktop Calendar

Two weeks ago I was in New Orleans for the Botany 2013 meeting, this past week I took some vacation time to do some hiking in New Hampshire, and this upcoming week I am off to a Plant Development meeting in Vermont. It has been a whirl-wind time reconnecting with colleagues, friends, and family. Apologies that the August desktop calendar is a little late. Hopefully you have been enjoying the summer weather and calendars have been far from your mind.

The image below shows some Sphagnum mosses with capsules. I took it on our hike up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. It was a good hike and really great to see so much lush summer vegetation!

1 - Single click on the image to open it up in a new window. (If you use the image directly from the blog post you will lose a lot of resolution.)

2 - Right-click (or ctrl-click) on the image, and chose the option that says, "Set as Desktop Background" or "Use as Desktop Picture". The wording may vary.

3 - If the image does not fit your desktop neatly, you may have to adjust the image (Mac: System Preferences - Desktop and Screen Saver - Desktop; Windows: Control Panel - Display - Desktop) and choose "Fill screen" as the display mode of your background image.