Maggie Anderson

This week’s featured scientist is Maggie Anderson, a graduate student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior department at the University of Minnesota. She is interested in studying climate change, prairie plants, native pollinators, and conservation. She is also a part of the Isbell Lab, studying the causes and consequences of changes in biodiversity. These biodiversity changes can range from changes in how land is used to introduction of new species.

Image by Scotty Turner


How did you get into the work that you do?

I signed up to help out with an urban bee ecology lab while I was an undergrad and got hooked on ecology research! I’m also passionate about doing science that has real-world conservation impacts, which is why I decided to go to graduate school.

What questions do people always ask when they learn about what you do? What is your typical response?

When people learn about what I do, their first question is typically “How do we save the bees?”
And it’s actually quite easy to save bees. My typical response is that people help save bees by planting native wildflowers or setting up bee boxes/houses for solitary bees in their yards. Another action or step that people can take is to help establish bee-friendly green spaces in their communities.

What is one of your favorite aspects of your work? What is the most challenging?

Writing is sometimes quite challenging for me. Which is why I would rather be outside. I love being outside and learning about the natural world around me.

If you could study any one topic or idea, and money/time/equipment/ were not an issue, what would you study?

I would love to have some ultra-detailed daily satellite photos of my experiments! If the satellite photos were detailed enough, I could track flowering from space.

Outside of your scientific studies, what other subjects or interests do you enjoy?

Outside of my research and work, I enjoy canoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and playing the cello.

What is a fun fact that few people would guess about you?

A fun fact about me is that I am a certified drone pilot.

Header Photo by Rui Silvestre