Hello, my name is Mulin Huan.
I have been fascinated with ecology and carnivorous plants since I am 6, and now I am focusing on how a changing environment will impact the growth and prey-capture ability! These are plants that have absolutely amazing mechanisms that can be found nowhere else but are somehow still poorly understood! They even became endangered due to human activity. My long-term goal is to figure out how they respond to the current changing climate and use these results for the conservation of these endangered plant species!
I am also the co-leader of the Insect Eating Club founded by my friend Matthew Livingston, the club focuses on spreading awareness of the benefits of insect-based diets via hosting insect tasting events!
Current Research Project
Currently I am working on the adaptivity of sundews by placing them under different abiotic conditions: mainly the amount of sunlight and the type of soil. I plant to figure out what abiotic factors are the more prevalent (even invasive) sundews able to withstand more than the threatened (even endangered) sundews!
I worked with the carnivorous Venus flytraps to inspect their unique leaf closure mechanisms when a prey enters the trap! The plant has trigger hairs on each panel of its snap trap that releases electric signals in the form of calcium ions when touched. Two consecutive touches on any of the two trigger hairs will close the trap. I investigated how the amplitude of these signals changes when the plant is placed under different temperatures and found out that these amplitudes significantly decrease as temperature decrease at 5 degrees Celsius compared to 30 degrees Celsius, and increase slightly at 40 degrees Celsius compared to 30 degrees Celsius! I also found out that under colder temperatures, you can close the trap with longer intervals (up to 60 seconds) between the two required stimuli; but in warmer temperatures, the traps will no longer close if the time interval between them is longer than approximately 30 seconds.
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