Plant Science Bulletin

Page 66

STUDENT SECTION Shifting Gears: Fieldwork, Benchwork, and Greenhouse Studies during COVID-19

COVID-19 is continuing to shape botanical research moving forward, but it remains important, despite the barriers it may currently face. Recent publications highlight some of these changes; for example, Vandebroek et al. (2020) discussed the barriers COVID-19 has placed on ethnobotanical research. Additionally, Weng (2020) highlighted that research involving plants is extremely important for treating infectious diseases, controlling future pandemics, and finding solutions to other crises (e.g., climate change). This summer, we collected BSA members’ experiences with COVID-19. Since it remains persistent, we want to continue to share stories and advice from BSA members. Responses included messages of hope and moving forward, despite big changes to research plans and physical and mental well-being. In addition, there were stories sharing defeat.

By Shelly Gaynor and Imeña Valdes BSA Student Representatives

Everyone has been impacted differently from COVID-19, and returning to fieldwork/ benchwork/greenhouse work may be too risky for some. We know that this is a hard time for students, even more so for those starting or finishing degrees. If you are currently in transition, try to stay connected with your previous mentors and lab mates. Connect with other BSA students via the new BSA Slack. Find out more ways to interact with BSA at: https://tinyurl. com/y82ff94b. Also check out the Botany2020 Virtual Networking Board at: https://tinyurl. com/yau5uqgb.

FIELDWORK Elena Loke “This spring I was going to be doing lab work and in the summer I had planned to do fieldwork in Hawaii. My lab work has been shifted to this fall and winter, and to take the place of the fieldwork I included more phylogenetic analyses. When COVID-19 began, I had not started lab work or fieldwork, so my plans were not interrupted, only modified. However, the focus of my research has changed from being


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