The logo of "Let's Botanize" consisting of that text over a green background.|

Collaborator Spotlight: Observing Plant Life with Let's Botanize!

Let's Botanize is on a mission to reveal the full morphological, ecological, and evolutionary diversity displayed across the plant kingdom. We talked to founders Jacob Suissa and Ben Goulet-Scott to learn more!

What's one thing LabXchange users should know about your organization?

The mission of Let’s Botanize is to reveal the full morphological, ecological, and evolutionary diversity displayed across the plant kingdom.

What's one fun fact about your organization?

A lot of people think we made up the word “botanize”, but it’s a real word! To botanize means to spend time (anywhere, from the city to the wilderness to the local nursery) with the specific intention of observing plant life.

Jacob Suissa stands in a field of grass and flowers. A screenshot from the Let's Botanize video "What Is a Flower?"
A screenshot from the Let’s Botanize video “What Is a Flower?”

"Fruits of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata)" by Let's Botanize.
“Fruits of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata)” by Let’s Botanize.

What is your organization's vision for science education?

We aim to promote an awareness of ecology, evolutionary biology, and biodiversity that inspires an appreciation for the beautiful complexity of biological life. Simultaneously, we hope that this perspective demonstrates that we are an impactful species in the interdependent ecosystems of Earth with a responsibility to be thoughtful stewards.

An image of a large oak tree, looking up the trunk from the base of the tree. "Quercus rubra (Red Oak)" by Let's Botanize.
“Quercus rubra (Red Oak)” by Let’s Botanize.

Who are your scientific inspirations?

We are inspired by the great scientific communicators who we grew up with, including David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, the Kratt brothers, Jeff Corwin, and Steve Irwin, as well as communicators we discovered later, like E. O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould, and Robin Wall Kimmerer.

What is the first science experiment you remember performing?

As young kids who paid close attention to bugs, plants, birds, and other organisms, some of our first experiments as scientists were through playful natural history. From our perspectives now as organismal biologists, we look back on our early experiences as intuitively forming and testing hypotheses about the natural world. For example, are grubs more likely to be found in fresh green acorns, or in older brown ones?

Tell us what motivates you to continue creating/communicating your amazing content!

We are motivated by a desire to address the climate and biodiversity crises that we grew up hearing about as children, and are now witnessing on an annual basis as adults. Given our training and skill sets, we feel that science communication is a way that we can make a positive impact on these challenges.

What's your favorite science joke/pun?

We like to use the word "fronds" (fern or palm leaves) as a pun on the word "friends."

Do you want to check out Let's Botanize! resources on LabXchange? Visit their collaborator page.Who are the LabXchange content collaborators? View our growing list of content collaborators here and read all of our collaborator spotlights to date.

Written by
LabXchange team

Read more