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2009 REU and REV Program Participant Profiles: Kimberly Dunn

Kimberly Dunn photo.

Degrees: BS Biology/Secondary Education, East Tennessee State University
Current Position: Teaching biology, Ecology, and AP Biology to grades 9-12 at Clinton High School, Clinton, TN
Hometown: Andersonville, TN
REU/REV Research Project: Modeling trends in plant data to find a safer way to treat fungus on food crops using biological means.

What is the purpose of your research?
The purpose of our research is to find trends in plant data. We are looking at the Monarda species, which includes bee balm and mint, among others. The trends may tell us something about the biosynthesis (formation) of the plant chemicals. It may tell us when the plant should be harvested to take advantage of the best chemicals for fungicidal treatment. It may tell us which plants are best suited for the treatment of fungus, etc. Using chemicals extracted from Monarda requires fewer applications, less toxic, and is biodegradable.

Tell us something about your field of study that we would be surprised to know.
They drank "Monarda" tea when the tea was lost in the Boston Tea Party and this same tea is used to treat flatulence.

Do you have an interesting "personal side" to your research experiences?
I am a teacher, teaching science to students, and other than this experience I have never been involved in any real research. This has been a great experience that I can share with my students.

How will the REU/VEU Program benefit your teaching?
I will be teaching my first AP Biology class this fall and the lab experience has been invaluable. Also, I have a better understanding of the level of math expected at a research level.

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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