Terrarium Study… break?

These two different moss species came in a terrarium set meant to be for a study break, through Princeton, but instead came in handy when I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. I was surprised by the difference in the textures of the two mosses (Image 1 vs…

Zombie Plant Cells

Back in September, students in EEB321 were asked to identify trees in their local environment to investigate the relationship between biodiversity and area. When I took my first neighborhood walk to study the trees near the closed gates of Brooklyn College, I had some trouble with identifying trees using their leaves. To avoid further scrutiny…

Moss springtail/ Colémbolo en musgo

Springtails from a moss sample! I was looking for tardigrades, I had never found Collembola in moss. Maybe a member of genus Brachystomella? ¡Colémbolos en una muestra de musgo! Estaba buscando tardígrados, es la primera vez que encuentro colémbolos en el musgo. ¿Podría ser del género Brachystomella?

Buzz off!

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University, where we were challenged to use the foldscopes to observe something interesting in our environments. I have recently found my room infested with dozens of small flying creatures who fly into my computer light (and occasionally, into my ear…) – gnats….

Getting Hairy

Anyone with furry pets knows the struggle of keeping their clothing hair-free before leaving the house, or constantly cleaning their furniture before guests arrive. I, myself, have two furry friends to clean up after, an Australian shepherd and an orange tabby cat. Recently, what was once a nuisance became an interesting investigation. The idea of…

My Fish Tank Needs Cleaning

I completed this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. For this post, I decided to investigate what was growing on the inside surface of the glass of my fish tank. Here’s a picture of what it looks like from the outside: Based on its coloration and some google searches, I…

Autumn in Somerville

A look at the natural beauty of Autumn in Boston I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. Fall is not just a seasonal change but also a sensational feeling that brings us closer to our natural surroundings. It starts slow. You first notice that you start your day…

Chicken feathers

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. Similar to my friend Sarah, I decided to investigate the birds in my backyard. The chickens frequently leave behind hints of their presence, from feathers to droppings to scattered feed. For many reasons, I decided to focus on their feathers. Most…

Sitting at My Computer

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. When I wake up, I open my computer. During class, stare at my screen. When I eat, I refresh my email. While I watch Netflix, I have one screen open to the show and another open with FaceTime so I can…

Ducks of a feather

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. The local pond is constantly brimming with the jovial, inquisitive, and—around dinner time—inpatient quacks of a group of 20 ducks. The group is a patchwork of Pekin, Indian runner, wild mallard, and crested ducks. As many of the ducks are domestic…

The magical red onion

During the early 2020 quarantine period, I was able to reinvigorate my (semi-)hidden passion for cooking! I soon realized the true versatility and utility of one of my favorite ingredients, the red onion, for which I have a newfound appreciation. One of my more distinct memories from childhood was how much I hated onions. Raw…

Organic vs Inorganic Produce

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. I was able to use my Foldscope both in Princeton, New Jersey, and at my home in Wisconsin. In Princeton, I used my Foldscope to look at raspberry juice from a container of Driscoll’s raspberries that I had purchased at Target….

Melanin under a foldscope!

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University While I was studying outside this past weekend to try to take advantage of the gorgeous weather, one of the kids that I babysit for came rushing to me with excitement. He was holding a shriveled up, relatively small bird feather…

How fractal is plant leaf?

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. Fractal figures appear everywhere in the nature, from snowflakes and river networks, of course including plant leaves! Plant leaves are also know to have the fractal figures, then can we determine how fractal that is based on the observation on foldscope?…

Lockdown Fridge

When lockdown was announced in the UK, I decided to move to live with some friends in Oxford in their student house. I love food and I love cooking so of course the first place I started to investigate was the fridge. It’s always well stocked, but possibly not the cleanest or most hygienic place…

A little bit of hope and luck

EEB321 Blog Post This photo is of a four-leaf clover from my back yard in Pensacola, FL. The species name of this clover is Marsilea quadrifolia, an endangered species that was once prevalent in the Iberian Peninsula and other parts of Europe and Asia. This is an aquatic species that can root in water or…

Can’t Beet This

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University. What is this strange molten sphere? Is a star? Or perhaps a ball of hot metal? It is, in fact, something much more interesting. It is a beet. Or rather — a very thin slice of a beet under magnification in…

Looking at 2 Backyard Leaves

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University.  I had a lot of fun with my foldscope! I played around with looking at several different things from my house and backyard– some dried lavender, the wing of a helicopter (which I learned are actually called samaras!), part of a…

Fall Leaf Colors!

This week, I went to Fairmount Park in Philadelphia armed with my Foldscope. Wandering around with the microscope pressed to my face, I definitely amassed some weird looks, which I initially chose to ignore. However, after a couple of minutes, a man came up to me and asked what I was doing. I happily explained…

The Water We Drink

Accessibility seems to be a recurring topic in this course and I have been excited by our investigation of ways to bring science to the masses. From our investigations with our Foldscopes to our discussion today with Janzen and Winnie about improving bioliteracy in Costa Rica by enabling the every day person to play a…

The Secrets of Fallen Leaves

My favorite season has always been fall. Not only is it the time of pumpkin spice and hot cocoa with extra marshmallows, but I have so many incredible memories associated with this time of year. Many of these are the countless hours my grandma and I would spend walking her dogs through the woods, admiring…

Grass vs. Leaf

I have here a picture of a leaf and a blade of glass, which I found in one of the grassy areas on my college campus. I was interested to see whether I could see any structural differences between the two in foldscope, outside of the obvious differences in shape. I was surprised to see…

Wings of a dead bug

Mundane tasks throughout the day like washing my hands would be a lot more efficient if my visual focus could determine details at the microscopic level. It seems apparent then that there is a tradeoff between visual acuity and scope, and the behavior is a result of an evolutionary trajectory. Foldscope negates the costs of…

Local Duckweed Growth

With the foldscope, I took samples from local preservation near my house (The Billie Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve). I took samples of the green growth on the surface of the water. After placing the samples on the slide, and viewing it, it became clear that this was Duckweed growth. The second plant also appears…

Japanese Eggplant Sprout

In this quiet time of quarantine I have found much peace and rest in taking care of house plants. My roommate happened to bring home a small, dehydrated Japanese Eggplant plant from the child she babysits. I repotted the plant into formulated coconut soil to revive it, and it appears to be doing much better...