The largest of the greenhouses at Wheaton College is dedicated to research for individual students, class projects and professors. Frequent users include students taking Introductory Biology, Ecology, and Genetics. Topics of study include the effects of varying types and intensity of light, plant response to different types and concentrations of fertilizer, dormant seed bank research, and cross pollination of different strains of Rapid Cycling Brassica.
In addition to the research greenhouse, the facility is equipped with four state-of-the-art growth chambers. These chambers provide students and professors with complete control over light, humidity and etemperature. Topics of study include the growth of algae in different pH environments, the growth of beans for lab experiments using tobacco mosaic virus, and the growth of mutant albino corn for generation comparisons.
Professor Scott Shumway is an ecologist with broad interests in coastal plant communities (salt marshes, sand dunes, and mangroves), vernal pool amphibians and invertebrates, coral reef communitiees, tropical rainforest plants, and conservation biology.