I’m Plant Scientist Andrew Willoughby, and this is how I work

andrew-willoughby
Plant Scientist Andrew Willoughby

Location: University of Oklahoma

Current job/title: Undergraduate Academic Assistant

One word that describes how you work: Sophomoric

Favorite thing you do at work: Floral Dip Transformations

Favorite plant: Colocasia esculenta (ed.– Wikipedia page on this plant).

One interesting project you have been working on:
It’s completely tangential to my lab’s main focus but right now I have been working on cloning several genes involved in intracellular transportation and I really like digging through the literature on it.

What is your workspace setup like?
I have my lab notebook always stacked under my pipette tips and every day after I’m finishing working I return everything to the stack. Pipettes mounted on the shelf above me, centrifuge to my left. I’m in a corner so it feels very cozy.

If you could eliminate one thing that you spend a lot of time doing, what would it be?
Cleaning out old culture tubes is never enjoyable.

If a magical scientific genie appeared from an erlenmeyer flask in your lab, what would you ask for?
More hours in the day to fit in classes, research, and tech duties.

What have been the biggest productivity tools you’ve been using either for a long time or recently adopted?
Excel. I love excel and I try to use it whenever I can. I plan out my day with excel, both my classes and long incubation times. I budget with excel, I’ve planned out my undergrad classes on excel.

Music, silence, white noise – what works for you?
Music. I’m really fortunate to work with people who have similar music tastes to me. On Fridays we blast Vampire Weekend and sing all day.

What do you do when the pipette is down and the computer is powered off?
Hopefully get a nap in!

How do you work on projects with colleagues/teams/groups?
I like being with someone’s more experienced extra set of hands for things I’ve never worked on before. I like learning new techniques, or new ways to do old ones. I find the best way to learn is to work with someone while they do it and I watch.

If you’re OK sharing, what’s one way readers can get in touch or follow along with your work (email, blog, twitter, etc.)?


This post is part of ASPB’s new “I’m a plant scientist and this is how I work” series. If you are interested in being highlighted, please email us your answers to these questions along with a hi-res photo and we will review your submission.

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