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why do we want bionet.plants?

klier at cobra.uni.edu klier at cobra.uni.edu
Sun Aug 29 20:23:15 EST 1993

In article <1993Aug25.152514.19436 at gserv1.dl.ac.uk>, ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri (Tony Travis) writes:
>  I think it might be useful
> to discuss what we want from bionet.plants: my view is that it is a
> good way of making informal contacts without using up the travel
> budget.

It's also a point of contact for those of us at institutions with
very few botanists...  Sometimes it's nice to keep up (informally)
with the stuff that's going on in other people's labs.  Gives you an
illusion of "critical mass"  ;-)

Tony, your references to mechanical stress have also inspired me to
pick up Niklas's _Plant Biomechanics_... not exactly the top reading
priority for most taxonomists...  and now I know much more than I
did before!
> Some of the discussions here have been quite interesting, and I think
> bionet.plants is worth continuing, but then I'm easily pleased.  So,
> what do *we* want bionet.plants to become?

I'm probably easily pleased, too, because my background in plant taxonomy
tends to push me to try to keep up at least a nodding acquaintance with
as many facets of plant science as possible.  I find the best taxonomy
is done by those who *really* understand the groups they work with 
biologically, not just spots on gels or flat plants on paper.

My current projects are attempting to assess genetic variation in 
a couple of species for recovery plans:  the western prairie white 
fringed orchid, Platanthera praeclara, and Mead's milkweed, Asclepias
meadii.  My larger interests are in the problem of interspecific
gene flow and its effects on speciation processes.  I've been using
isozymes as the major tool for this, but thinking about shifting to
DNA for some related problems.

Why do I like bionet.plants?  One of the big advantages to me is that
I don't have to wait till the next meeting to locate someone with
similar interests.  Another important consideration for me is that
I have a hearing loss that makes participation in meetings very 
difficult... I simply can't hear well enough to carry on a conversation
with much background noise.  Here, I'm on equal footing (equal

So though I may not always have something that I feel needs saying,
I enjoy "listening" to the group.

Kay Klier    Biology Dept   UNI

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