Maria Wang

B.A., Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, 2013

M.S., Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University, 2014

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in rare species conservation, habitat restoration, genetic diversity and tropical biology.

In Summer 2011, I studied the native cool season prairie grass, Dichanthelium leibergii (Poaceae), also known as Leiberg’s panic grass or prairie panic grass. I collected seeds from D. leibergii plants at Hegg Lake, Staffanson’s Prairie Preserve, and Loeffler’s Corner from July through August. We brought the seeds back to the lab at the Chicago Botanic Garden. In the following months I assessed methods to maximize germination of the seeds, and germinated the seeds to compare germination and survival rates among the collection sites (maternal line effect).

I came back in Summer 2012, with funding and a proposal for my senior thesis project. I conducted a hand-pollination experiment to assess whether pollen was limiting reproduction (measured by seed set) of D. leibergii. For more information, you can read my Senior Honors Thesis here!


What else?

I am an international student from Malaysia. I continued onto an MS in Plant Biology and Conservation, studying the genetic diversity of an underutilized tropical fruit tree, “Cempedak” (Artocarpus integer, Moraceae) and its wild relative in Malaysia. After completing my studies, I would like to return to Malaysia to work for conservation.