Hello! I am Madeline Slimp and I am a Plant and Soil Science major graduating in Spring 2021. I joined the Johnson Lab in the spring of 2018 and began with imaging and transcribing herbarium specimens. At the end of that semester I was accepted into the Honors College Undergraduate Research Scholars Program and began working on my own project in the herbarium.
My first research project involved extracting DNA from herbarium specimens from the GUMO (Guadalupe Mountains National Park) collection. Using the Angiosperm353 kit and the Hybpiper Bioinformatics pipeline, I was able to determine the genetic variance between species within the same life history strategy group. My current project is to use the GUMO collection to predict movement of native plant populations due to climate change. After pinpointing the location of around 800 specimens, we began using an R script along with a bio-climate data raster designed by Dr. Dylan Schwilk. I hope to be able to make a conclusion on whether this climate projection is suitable for use with herbarium specimens.
As a student, my favorite subjects include GIS technology, plant pathology, and medicinal botany. Subjects that discuss organism-plant interactions are very interesting to me. At Botany2019, I enjoyed listening to the ethnobotany, botanical history, and biogeography talks. I think that by researching ancient human-plant relationships, we can create a more sustainable and healthy future for life on earth.
Aside from attending school and researching, one of my favorite things to do is try new foods and drinks. I also enjoy playing video games with friends and going to local farmers markets.