AUTHOR PROFILE: MEENA SRITHARAN

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

―  David Attenborough

I couldn’t have said it better than the great Sir David Attenborough.  The wonders of nature are the reason why I followed my passion for science; to explore its beauty and its many mysteries.

Hello my fellow readers! My name is Meena Sritharan, an advance science student, majoring in ecology and microbiology. If you haven’t noticed it already, I have a great love of the natural world, and  can never get enough of the wonders it holds at a macroscopic and microscopic scale. Currently in my honours year, I am undertaking a research project that involves looking at the morphology of alpine plants (and yes that means I get to go field tripping up to Mount Kosciuszko)!

adventure time science.gif (A most accurate description of myself, 98% of the time)

I am not one to write too much about myself, but I can give you the brief low-down on who I am. Simply put, I am a Ravenclaw, who likes to sleep, eat, science and repeat. One day, I hope to become a trailblazer of some sort, whether it be within the scientific community and/or as an explorer discovering a new place (both on planet earth and in space, if possible).  Funnily enough, I started out university, thinking I was going to be an environmental scientist, working for the CSIRO, and accomplishing scientific feats in the realms of biodiversity and conservation (such dreams I had, so wonderfully naive). After multiple changes in one’s major/s, and experience in a wide range of research projects, I discovered the amazing and devilish world of plants.

leaf image.gif

I am not too sure when and where my love of science started out, but it definitely kicked into gear after having an incredibly passionate teacher for high school geography and a great love of high school science research projects. From there, university was the gateway to take my passion on a whole new scale, and aside from the terrible exams we have to take, I have loved almost every minute of it.  My coursework has involved everything from examining the intriguing characteristics of bacteria under a microscope to conducting science experiments on ecology field trips. Most of my time at university, however,  has been spent volunteering and working in multiple labs to determine where in the world of nature my passion lies. This has led one to do some weird and wonderful things from dissecting dozens of dusky hopping mice, measuring elephant seal whiskers, catching wallabies on camera traps to discovering the strange and clever mechanisms of plant defence.

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The various aspects of my university coursework from growing bacteria, to handling Mike Archer’s pet snake or exploring the wilderness of Smith’s Lake for advanced field biology.

So with the limited time I already have on my hands, why have I decided to become a writer for UNSW Wavelength? As Jim Moriarty succinctly put it, “Staying alive, just staying, is sooooo boring”, especially when there is so much out there to explore; so this is my chance to broaden my horizons of science knowledge. Further, as one who loves learning but lives in a world that is beginning to think that ignorance is the new cool (*Cough*Donald Trump *cough*), the communication of science and knowledge has never been more important to society. The wonders of science and its beauty should be shared for all to see and be inspired by its magnificence.

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As someone who is captivated by the wonderful world of plants, I have decided to write about the mysteries they behold.  Plants, as beautiful (and cunning) as they are, are often organisms that people seem to be consciously blind to. Yes, our koalas and quokkas are too cute to comprehend, but what is arguably more important is the vegetation that provides the means for most organisms (including us humans) to survive. Thus, my aim as a UNSW wavelength blog writer, is to welcome one and all to the fantastical world of plants through my posts. I hope to inspire readers to find their greatest source of excitement and intellectual interest in nature that makes our lives worth living!

me-mini

References

  • Cover photo and final image – Floret Meredith, 2016
  • Science and Attenborough leaf gif – http://giphy.com/
  • Advanced Field biology photo – Eric Vi, 2016
  • Snake and I – Naomi Huynh, 2015
  • Flower Comic – http://poorlydrawnlines.com/comic/flower/

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