Summer in the Greenhouse

by Liz Cutler, Office of Communications and Marketing intern
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 10:27am

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WWU photo/Liz Cutler

Students Regina O’Kelley (Environmental Science, Seattle, pictured at right) and Roslyn Martin (Biology, Federal Way) are spending the summer researching how light levels and soil biota interact to affect the growth of an invasive plant, spotted knapweed.

Associate Professor of Environmental Science Rebecca Bunn is the faculty advisor for O’Kelley and Martin.

“The main motivation for this research is to understand how the results of greenhouse studies translate to the field,” said Bunn. “The vast majority of studies on plants and soil biota are conducted in greenhouses which have lower light levels than field studies, even with supplemental lighting.”

O’Kelly was very passionate when talking about how Western has been a significant resource for their project. The university awarded them a $472 Summer Research and Creative Opportunities Scholarship and gave them access to the Biology greenhouse.

“If anyone is interested in doing an independent project in their field then they shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to professors. They need to there are many people on campus willing to help them,” said O’Kelley. “That is the great thing about Western.”

O’Kelley and Martin started the project on June 1 and it is expected to end in early September.