Jenna T. Baughman Ekwealor

University of California, Berkeley

Jenna in the Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, California.

Desert and dryland mosses spend much of their time in a desiccated and inert state—a strategy that allows them to avoid some physiological stress when water is limited or absent.

However, these plants must still deal with consequences of their harsh environment upon rehydration and ‘waking up.’ To understand more about how dryland mosses cope with or limit damage from the environment while desiccated and dormant, I am investigating the mechanisms and evolutionary history of UV radiation protection in two Syntrichia species.

Undergraduate Apprentices working on the 3D Moss Project

Current Students

Jordan Jomsky

Hello! My name is Jordan Jomsky. I am a sophomore and a Data Science major at the University of California, Berkeley. In my research in the Mishler Lab, I perform statistical analysis, data visualization, and DNA extraction for our moss sex ratio project. Outside of lab, I am the President of the Residence Hall Assembly, a TA for general chemistry, and a tour guide!




Past Students


Heloise Carion


I’m a freshman at UC Berkeley, studying Bioengineering. Coming to Berkeley, I knew from the start that all I wanted to do was research, because science is awesome, and discovering it is even cooler. I’m fascinated by all things biology, and studying mosses has been an amazing experience, teaching me that “small but mighty” is no overstatement! Doing research on Syntrichia has given me the knowledge and skills that I know will stay with me for the rest of my career!





Easha Sagar

I am a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Molecular & Cell Biology and Business Administration.

My research interests are extremely varied, in that I used to love studying choanoflagellate colonies, but have also spent a significant amount of time trying to dissect the recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I am currently fascinated by bryophytes, though, because I’m envious of mosses’ ability to be self-sufficient, and I want to find answers to the questions about their climate-dependent behavior.

Our projects with Syntrichia are the perfect way for me to fill in the gaps left by all the zoology classes I have to take, all the while helping me polish my botany knowledge and teaching me about plant diversity.


Publications Related to the 3D Moss Project

Baughman, J. T., Payton, A. C., Paasch, A. E., Fisher, K. M., & McDaniel, S. F. (2017). Multiple factors influence population sex ratios in the Mojave Desert moss Syntrichia caninervis. American Journal of Botany, 104(5), 733-742. Google Scholar Link