Jenn Yost – Graduate Fellow 2011-12 & 2012-13

JYost_2After many years in college of studying everything from phytoplankton in the ocean to mice on islands, I found my real passion in biology: PLANTS! I was hooked on plants when I took a course in Hawaii where I was amazed by all the different plant species.  My curiosity was sparked and now I study how different species are formed.  How do we get a new species of plant?  What ecological and evolutionary events have to happen in order for a population to begin diverging?

While I was very interested in tropical plants, I studied plant diversity in California, where we have more plant species than the whole northeastern region of the United States.  My research was to understand how adaption to unique soil types can contribute to the formation of species.

Discovering plants was an important event in my life, and now I use plants to involve young people in the wonders of studying biology. I was thrilled to bring my passion for science to Watsonville High School and now I’m teaching plant sciences in the Biology Department at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo.JennYost_Poster2012_thumbnail

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