Paul Helling


Paul is currently a third year undergraduate and a first year graduate student in the plant biology masters program at Michigan State University. He joined the lab in spring 2013 and works off and on a cophylogeny project to better understand the relationships between  Medicago and their rhizobial symbionts, except he’s still trying to figure out how to grow all 20 species he wants to study and how to get them to produce nodules. After he graduates, he hopes to continue his graduate studies in orchid systematics.

When he’s not working, studying, or thinking about research, Paul enjoys eating frozen yogurt, fantasizing about all the rare orchids he hopes to grow someday, and writing short stories about characters with really cool lives and psychic powers. However, Paul spends too much time obsessing over his favorite TV shows and the lives of their protagonists to have a life of his own.

The picture above was taken in Antarctica and has Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) in the background.