Professor Bruce Kirchoff Shares Plant Morphology Research With ISRP Students

The Independent Science Research Program recently had the honor of (virtually) hosting Professor Bruce Kirchoff, author of the program's textbook, Presenting Science Concisely. During his visit, Professor Kirchoff presented his research on plant morphology in Zingiberales, the order of plants that contains bananas and ginger.

One student found “his research into plant genetics and ancestry was very interesting, showing how we can work backwards from knowledge with DNA, for example, and look for physical differences that show ancestry. This demonstrates how multiple different approaches can be used to reach a specified goal, and how those approaches can work together to achieve that goal.”

During the talk, Professor Kirchoff also described his professional journey from graduate school to a post-doc in Jerusalem, becoming a professor and falling in love with teaching. He also shared how improv and theater helped him write his book, Presenting Science Concisely.

“I thought it was really cool how he applied his storytelling abilities that came from his improv experience to explain presenting science research,” a student noted. “It was cool to see seemingly different fields intersecting in that way.”

Another student learned that “you should consider more factors rather than just income. Most of the time, it is better to have a career that fulfills you and makes you happy rather than just making you a lot of money.”

We thank Professor Kirchoff’s commitment to education and for taking the time to visit with our aspiring scientists.

All alumni/parents with present or past experiences in scientific research have a standing invitation to visit the Independent Science Research Program. Our future scientists love hearing your stories, and these talks are formative to their careers. If you are interested, please reach out to Dr. Andrew Ying at