Pipettes & Paintbrushes | Spring 2018

Oxidized Rhizospheres

Oxidized Rhizospheres

Artist: Hannah Bishop, MFA for Poets and Writers
Poetry and digital media

Hannah Bishop is an MFA poetry candidate and artist. She is originally from New Jersey. She earned her undergraduate degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and then worked at a gastroenterology office for a year. She greatly prefers reading poems to reading colonoscopy reports. Hannah especially enjoys sweets, RuPaul, fun facts, and her dog, Teek. “Oxidized Rhizospheres” combines poetry and found botanical illustrations, inspired by Carolyn’s research and passion for wetlands and the flora found there. instagram: @Bishplease3

Partner: Carolyn Gorss, Environmental Conservation

The plants that grow in freshwater wetlands are often very uniquely adapted to living in a place that is neither terrestrial nor aquatic. With their roots frequently (or constantly) submerged in standing or flowing water, intertwined in nutrient-poor soil, and subject to fluctuations in water levels, plants have needed to adapt to meet those challenges. Many plants have grown to thrive in their heavily saturated environments. Their specialized structures and survival techniques represent hundreds of years of evolution. In my graduate research, I am investigating a potential method of wetland assessment that uses plants as indicator species to quantify biological condition. This is done through a simple calculation based on the plant community composition in a single wetland. In the last 3 years of my graduate degree, I have gotten to explore many wetlands for work and for pleasure. In that time I have heard so many stories about wetland plants from professional botanists, naturalists, and teachers. With this collaboration, I hope to share some of those stories about plants’ adaptations and unique behaviors with you all today!