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Renew with Dr. Beronda L. Montgomery

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Course Description 
SWE hosted the first event in our virtual series #Renew #Relaunch #Redefine in collaboration with Pioneer Valley Women in STEM on November 3, 2021. Maeliz Colon, a recent graduate of UMASS Amherst with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, interviewed Dr. Beronda L. Montgomery, a writer, researcher, and scholar, on topics related to her book, Lessons From Plants, an exploration of how plant behavior and adaptation offer valuable insights for human thriving.

Duration: 60 minutes

Beronda L. Montgomery, PhD is MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Society for Plant Biologists, she was named one of Cell’s 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America. Beronda explores the vigorous, creative lives of organisms often treated as static and predictable. In fact, plants are masters of adaptation. They “know” what and who they are, and they use this knowledge to make a way in the world. Plants experience a kind of sensation that does not require eyes or ears. They distinguish kin, friend, and foe, and they are able to respond to ecological competition despite lacking the capacity of fight-or-flight. Plants are even capable of transformative behaviors that allow them to maximize their chances of survival in a dynamic and sometimes unfriendly environment. Beronda uses her book, Lessons from Plants, to share plant-based knowledge and to develop and disseminate accessible lessons on the awareness and adaptability of plants. She frequently shares lessons from her work on Twitter @BerondaM and @PlantLessons.


This project is based upon work partially supported by the generosity of Northrop Grumman Foundation.