Valerie Milici is a PhD student at UCONN researching the interactions between fungus and roots in tropical saplings.
“I’m Valerie Milici, and I study how fungal diseases that attack baby trees are super important to diversity in the tropical forest. My work takes me from the forest where I make observations and collect field samples, to the greenhouse where I perform experiments, to the lab where I grow up fungal cultures and test to see if they are the diseases attacking seedlings. I love the variation in what I do and how I need to use field skills and lab skills to answer my questions. ”
Dr. Eran Amichai joined us at Dinalab this January-February. His research is about the sensory role of whiskers in nectivorous bats’ hovering flight. Neotropical nectar-eating bats hover in front of flowers similar to hummingbirds, to feed on the nectar inside while providing pollinating services to the plant. In this project, I investigate the role of the unique arrangement of whiskers these species have, which I hypothesize provide tactile information to the bat about its exact positioning within the flower.
Kitty Kelly (Quitmeyer) (wellreadpanda.com) is a librarian turned professional yarn-crafter. Her interests lie in sustainability, knitting + crochet, books, and red pandas. She is the co-developer of the dinalab, and fixes/develops lab infrastructure while running workshops, events and logistics. Perhaps you will be able to become a mobile knitter / hiker like her!
She develops yarncrafted artwork to bring attention to scientific practices and discoveries. You can see more of her works at www.wellreadpanda.com
Dr. Andrew Quitmeyer is a hacker adventurer studying intersections between wild animals and computational devices. He left his job as a tenure track professor at the National University of Singapore to start his own Field Station Makerspace in Gamboa Panama: Digital Naturalism Laboratories (dinalab.net). Here he blends biological fieldwork and DIY digital crafting with a community of scientists, artists, designers, and engineers from around the world. He runs mobile workshops called “Hiking Hacks” where participants build interactive technology in outdoor, natural contexts. The Digital Naturalism Conference (dinacon.org) is his research’s largest event, pulling in over 100 participants annually from all fields to collaborate on finding new ways of interacting with nature. His research also inspired a silly spin-off international television series he starred in for Discovery Networks called “Hacking the Wild.”