The innovation engine for new materials

Javier Cervantes


Oxnard High School

Grade Level: 

High School

Teaching Position: 

10th grade biology


Susan Mazer


Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology


Leah Dudley

Research Project Year: 


Research Project Title: 

Studying the Evolution of Mating Systems in Clarkia

Research Project Description: 

This summer I had a great experience working in the Mazer Lab with great mentors and fellow interns. The Mazer lab is studying the evolution of mating systems in Clarkia.  The question that we were addressing was whether early flowering plants were genetically correlated to plants that self pollinate. We could not reach a definitive answer during my stay at the lab, but considering the importance and relevance of the research, the final results will be forthcoming in the future by the Mazer lab.

My goals in participating in this program were to learn as much as possible, to participate as much as possible and finally to contribute as much as possible to the research. I feel that my goals were satisfied far beyond my expectations. I came away with a deeper understanding of science research and a greater appreciation of those individuals that choose to do research as a career. I feel that I can now bring my new experiences to the classroom and incorporate what I have learned into my teaching. 

Research Project Attachments: 

Curriculum Project Year: 


Curriculum Project Title: 

Bringing Ecological and Evolutionary Research into the Classroom

Curriculum Project Description: 

Last year during MRL-RET1 I worked in the Mazer lab which is part of the Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology Department here at UCSB. The Mazer lab has been studying the effects of climate change on the mating systems of the California wildflower Clarkia. During this time I had an opportunity to experience what takes place in the lab, in the greenhouse and out in the field as they pertained to these studies. In this curriculum project I tried to incorporate both the methods and the concepts that I experienced at the Mazer lab. In the research project I took part in cultivating Clarkia unguiculata from seeds in petri dishes then transplanting the seedlings into potting containers that were then grown in the greenhouse. I have written a two day lab activity that incorporates this experience. In the greenhouse I took part in observing and monitoring the seedlings until they flowered. Then as part of the research into the effects of warmer temperatures on flowering plants we harvested their flower buds and dissected them to count pollen grains and ovules from each. From this experience I wrote another 2 day lab activity. Finally, in the field I experienced how some plants around the country are monitored and how this data is entered into a nationwide data bank, and from this experience I wrote an interesting web based and field based student activity on ethnophenology.

Curriculum Project Attachments: 

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