bI/O is a prison seminar outreach program coordinated by scientists at the University of Michigan to engage with the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, MI. We work with prison officials to schedule sessions 2-3 times per semester. Each session, a panel of 3 researchers present a 15-20 minute talk about their science and career path in a seminar-style format. Organizers workshop presentation materials with presenters to make sure it is accessible and follows the strict guidelines of the correctional facility. After the talks, we open up for a discussion panel where incarcerated students will be able to ask us further questions about science, careers, etc.

See below for a listing of our past and upcoming seminars and presenters.

February 2024


keyrosy
keyrosy
The Wild World of Plant Hairs

Rosy | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | 🔗 | »
Plants can't run away from the things that want to eat them, but they can still defend themselves! Many plants do this by producing hairs, technically known as trichomes, that damage, catch, or even poison potential plant consumers. Trichomes come in all shapes and sizes, but we know surprisingly little about how they function and evolve over time. My research focuses on the elaborate barbed trichomes produced by a group of plants called “stickleafs” or “blazingstars” (family Loasaceae). I study how they vary across species and how they help the plants defend themselves. Along the way, I've learned a lot about plant-insect interactions, survival in harsh environments, and the extraordinary diversity of life on earth. (less)
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keyandrea
keyandrea
Bird Migration

Andrea | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Frontiers | 🔗 | »
Learning about the whereabouts of birds throughout their migration journeys is important to identify locations for conservation since many populations are experiencing declines. Range maps and geolocators are two ways to do this, and in my master's thesis, I compared both methods to see how well they characterized avian movement patterns. I also talked about my background, how I got to graduate school, and organizations I'm interested in working for when I graduate. (less)
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keymia
keymia
Uncovering the importance of the plant microbiome

Mia | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | 🔗 | »
Microorganisms are everywhere, from the soil beneath your feet to inside the bodies of plants and animals. Despite their abundance, we are still understanding the important functions microorganisms play in host ecology and evolution. My research explores how soil-dwelling microbes can help plants cope with stresses such as drought and protect themselves against herbivore attacks. By expanding our understanding of the microbial world beneath our feet, we may be able to develop more effective and sustainable agricultural practices. (less)
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November 2023


keyroberto
keyroberto
How to make a toxic frog?

Roberto | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | 🔗 | »
Animals use toxins for a variety of purposes, such as avoiding predation or hunting prey. However, in order to do this, they need to be able to avoid their own toxin's noxious effects. In this talk I first discuss my work on how poison frogs are able to resist their own powerful toxins, and what this can teach us to successfully and safely use toxins for human purposes, such as medicine and agriculture. Second, I share some of the "daily life" aspects of my job as a scientist, as well as some of the common career paths taken by people with a STEM education. (less)
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keyjill
keyjill
What can under-studied fungi teach us about fundamental life processes?

Jill | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | 🔗 |

September 2023


keyanah
keyanah
How does agriculture affect wild plants?

Anah | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | 🔗 | »
I became a scientist because I like to figure things out and solve problems. I started to become interested in herbicides impact on the environment when I began working in a lab at University of Michigan. The herbicide Dicamba poses many problems in agriculture because once it has been sprayed on weeds, it can evaporate and spread onto wild plants. However, because it is being spread in the air, it is affecting plants at a much lower dose than what is recommended in the field. This can lead to all kinds of unexpected impacts. By using the scientific method, I can observe how some plants react to dicamba and analyze how they express their genes differently. (less)
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