Adventure grows by leaps and bounds

Bamboo researcher Lynn Clark.

When you think of the fast-growing renewable resource known as bamboo, chances are you think of food for pandas. But millions of people in every hemisphere of the world depend on bamboo for housing, clothing, deforestation protection and more. That's what makes Lynn Clark's research at Iowa State so important.

Clark is one of the world's leading authorities on bamboo, naming 110 species of the plant since she began her research more than 40 years ago. In fact, Clark and her colleagues identify bamboo species new to science during every field trip they make. Their work enables an understanding of bamboo diversity for conservation and restoration efforts but also provides the foundation for identifying relevant traits that could be used for selection of bamboo varieties, ultimately for bamboo improvement programs.

In addition to her bamboo research, Clark teaches plant biology and graduate courses at Iowa State and also directs the Ada Hayden Herbarium, a collection of about 640,000 specimens of dried plants and fungi. It's no wonder Clark has immersed herself in the world of plants -- she says she's been interested in biodiversity and evolution ever since she was a teenager. "I became interested in plants while in high school," Clark said. "Bamboo captured my imagination right from the beginning and so I have dedicated most of my career to studying bamboo diversity and evolution."

It's groundbreaking research like Clark's that makes Iowa State one of the top research universities in the country. From biology to business economics -- no matter where you want your adventure to take you, at Iowa State you can expect to grow by leaps and bounds. And it all stems from the adventurous minds you'll get to learn from on our campus.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.