Plant Scientists in the Wild (#FoPD)

Guest post by Emily Larson  @erlarson_phd and Maria Papanatsiou @m_papanatsiou, postdocs at the University of Glasgow, Scotland

If there is one stereotype about some scientists that contains a shred of truth it is that we are definitely indoor kids – at least professionally speaking. We spend a lot of time hunched over benches in the lab, or behind microscopes in the dark, or pouring over data from experiments run in triplicate. You might say we don’t get out of the lab much.

But this doesn’t mean scientists always have to work behind closed doors, and on Saturday, the 20th May 2017 in coordination with Fascination of Plants Day (@PlantDay2017) and the Bicentennial of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens (@GlasgowBotanic), the researchers of the Plant Science Group at the University of Glasgow will be getting out of the lab to talk about their work and run experiments with the public. Most of the plant biology research groups from the University of Glasgow will be in attendance and have organized activities and presentations that focus on asking questions about how plants respond to their environment and maintain growth. For example, we’ll be investigating how plants sense and respond to light, how they grow in size, and their photosynthetic activities.

We will also be unveiling a booklet that illustrates the research happening in the Plant Science Group through drawings by Dr. Mathis Riehle. This booklet will be a fun way for a variety of people to interact with and learn about our work and the people behind it.

Along with our presentations and activities, we are incorporating social media and crowd sourcing into the day. We will be participating in #BotanyLive to stream some events throughout the afternoon, we’ll be posting a lot to our institute’s Twitter feed (@UofGIMCSB), and collecting data from participants in the days after the event as part of a large-scale experiment that will be posted to our website ( There will even be a poster wall so event-goers can take “cell-fies”!

We in the Plant Science Group are really looking forward to being a part of the Glasgow Botanic Garden Bicentennial and helping them to celebrate their commitment to plant cultivation and preservation. We hope that if you’re in Glasgow, you’ll stop by and help us with the experiments!

What: Glasgow Botanic Gardens Bicentennial Celebration

When: 10:00-16:00 Saturday 20 May 2017

Where: Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow G12 0UE, UK

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