Interdisciplinary collaboration in research and teaching is the focus of the next research talk at Kennesaw State

Paula Jackson
Paula Jackson

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 31, 2022) — Kennesaw State University tropical plant expert Paula Jackson has spent more than 20 years providing students with field research opportunities near and far. She is the featured researcher during Research with Relevance – Chairs and Directors’ Showcase on Friday at 4 p.m. in an online format.

Jackson, an ecophysiologist, will discuss her collaborative research efforts focused on the ecology and physiology of plants, and on the scholarship of teaching and learning. In both, Jackson emphasizes the importance of collaboration.

“The arc of my research has been strongly dependent upon and enriched by collaboration with colleagues and undergraduate and graduate students both at Kennesaw State University and abroad,” Jackson said.

For example, Jackson has developed a long-term relationship with the Centro de Investigacion Cientifica de Yucatan, in Mexico where, with her colleagues, she facilitated a four-year research program. Through this program, Jackson invited KSU students to participate in a study abroad to explore one of the most threatened terrestrial ecosystems in the world, the tropical dry forest.

During the past two decades, Jackson has explored the interplay between water availability, plant photosynthetic rates and plant distribution patterns. She joined Kennesaw State in 1999 and is the interim chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology in the College of Science and Mathematics.

As a professor of biology, Jackson has taught courses on tropical ecology, principles of modern biology and science, society and the environment. She has mentored more than 60 undergraduate students in research resulting in many regional and national or international presentations with the students as first authors. For her efforts, she has been recognized by the College of Science and Mathematics, having been awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award in 2010 and Distinguished Professor Award in 2014.

After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela, Jackson continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Tropical Plant Ecology and Physiology.

For additional information on the talk and to learn about future guests, visit: https://research.kennesaw.edu/roc/researchwithrelevance/index.php

Meagan Lowney


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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