Humans of OBU: Reese Chesshir

August 31, 2021

“This summer, I did Botany research with Dr. Jim Taylor at Ouachita Baptist University. Dr. Taylor and I worked to determine the effect of different wavelengths of light and gravity on Physarum growth. Physarum is a slime mold in the genus of mycetozoan and the family of Physaraceae. It is a single cellular, multinuclear organism not classified as an animal, plant or fungi. I used red, blue and green wavelengths and microgravity conditions to see if Physarum would grow the same in space as it did on earth. The Physarum was attached to clinostat and stationary plates that were put into a light wavelength incubator and observed for three days. I found that there was no statistical difference in the growth of Physarum polycephalum. One of my favorite memories from this summer is when all the researchers floated down the river together. It allowed us to encourage and motivate one another in a different environment. I loved working with Dr. Taylor, Thomas Harrington and Taylor Barnhart because they pushed me to achieve more and helped me execute a successful research project. I learned many things this summer, but the lessons I will take with me post-research include a strong sense of independence, a deeper understanding of many research techniques and the value of time management. This summer confirmed my desire to study biology and pursue a career in the medical field.”

Junior, Biology

Texarkana, Ark.

photo by William Read

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