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Xitlaly Gomez Vega

Internship Title: Yosemite Big Wall Plant Adaptation Project
Department: Life and Environmental Sciences
Mentor Name: Jason Sexton

How do plants manage to live on the steepest environments on Earth? The intern will work alongside investigators to evaluate monkeyflower plant occurrence, adaptation, and gene flow across the famously steep walls of Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan. They will coordinate with Yosemite staff, including rock-climbing rangers and biologists, organize and maintain seed collections, propagate plants in UCM greenhouses, conduct statistical analyses, and perhaps perform genetic molecular techniques. Results will help us better understand how plants can colonize extreme environments, whether they are climate-adapted across such steep gradients, and what the patterns of connectivity (gene flow) are in Yosemite Valley.