Thomas Verne


Frankenstein but for Plants: "Plantenstein"

I'm from: Huon Valley, Tasmania
Current Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Position: Honours Student, College of Sciences & Engineering, UTAS
Field of research/work: Plant Molecular Biology, Physiology and Microscopy
YTS Years: 2023

Thomas's Notable career moments

  • Always loved using microscopes and science.

  • to 2017: Home schooled by a biologist.

  • to 2019: Went to high school for Years 11 and 12.

  • to 2022: Did a degree in plant science and microbiology.

  • to 2022: Did several undergraduate research projects.

  • Started an Honours degree in plant drought research and microscopy.

About Thomas Verne

Despite their calm appearance plants can be a bit antisocial.

Have you ever looked out at a field, forest or meadow and though how relaxed it all looked? However, things are not what they seem, in fact, there is a “turf” war going on. While plants seam nice and peaceful, they are actually quite ruthless and, in some cases, quite aggressive. Some plants will often try to eliminate their competitors through a variety of means while others will try to come out on top through crowding out all other plants. Some plants will even start turning on almost every living thing around them through the use of fire, chemicals and very sharp leaves.

The unexpected behaviour of plants was what drew me into science, the fact that things are not always what they seem, especially plants. This steered me into plant science and in particular how plants behave under drought. Quite understandably plants do not like drying and can go to extraordinary lengths to stay wet as long as they can, some plants will “hold their breath”. Some especially ruthless plants will intentionally lose their leaves as, if you don’t have it, you can’t lose water from it. As we already know plants often behave in ways that you don’t normally expect even compared to other plants especially moss which doesn’t really care if it dries out, as they can dry out completely and survive.  Oh, and they eat through rocks as well, what a weird plant right?

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of plants and plant science.