Curriculum Vitae

Matthew Connor Gaston
Curriculum Vitae
Updated 4 Oct 2021

 

Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences
University of Hawaii – Manoa
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Phone: 210-748-6651
Email: mcgaston@hawaii.edu

EDUCATION


2018-Present     Ph.D. Candidate, Tropical Plant & Soil Science (TPSS), University of Hawaii, Manoa


2014-2018         B.S., Genetics & Plant Biology (GPB) University of California, Berkeley

                          Minor, Science & Mathematics Education (CalTeach), University of California, Berkeley


2010-2014         High School Diploma, Valedictorian, Central Catholic High School, San Antonio, TX

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE


2019-Present       Graduate Teaching Assistant, TPSS 200- Agriculture, Environment, and Society: graded writing intensive essays providing comments for students to resubmit with corrections; TPSS 220- Organic Food Crop Production: facilitated our online class, uploaded assignments and resources, graded; TPSS 352- Landscape Architecture History: graded student essays and assignments; TPSS 364- Horticultural Practices: Assisted students in the greenhouse and field growing crops, guest lecturer on horticultural crop improvement; TPSS 420- Plant Propagation; TPSS 421- Tropical Seed Science; TPSS 470/470L- Plant Physiology/Plant Physiology Lab: lead laboratory, graded lab assignments, and sent weekly announcements; Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii, Manoa.


2021                    Invited Instructor, TPSS 300- Tropical Crop Production, Tropical Plant & Soil Science Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa: “Microgreens: Dorm Room Snacks to Extraterrestrial Sustenance.”


2019-2021           Invited Instructor, ARCH/TPSS 634, Landscape Plants: ID & Use, Tropical Plant & Soil Science Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa: “Shoots Brah! An Introduction to Plant Morphology for Plant Identification”


2019, 2020          Invited Instructor, TPSS 300- Tropical Crop Production, Tropical Plant & Soil Science Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa: “Urban Agriculture: Living Walls in Manoa”


2018                     Lead Science Instructor, 3rd-5th Grade Science at Camp Galileo, San Carlos, CA. Presented inquiry-based innovation projects, scaffolded engineering concepts, mentored campers, participated in camp games and skits, provided oversight during recess.


2018                    Student Teacher, High School Biology, ASPIRE College Preparatory Academy, Richmond, CA. Mentored and tutored students. Presented lessons on genetics.


2017                    Student Teacher, Middle School Algebra & Geometry, Madison Park Business & Art Academy (6-12), Oakland, CA. Mentored and tutored students. Presented lessons on geometric transformations.


2017                    Student Teacher, High School Biology; High School Ecology. ARISE High School, Oakland, CA. Mentored and tutored students. Presented a lesson on estimation in science.


2016                    Student Teacher, K & 3rd Grade Data & Technology. Special Biology Lesson: “Plant Adaptations for their Ecosystem.” Bridges Academy at Melrose, Oakland, CA

 

ONLINE CONTENT & WEBSITES


2021-Present     MCKGaston: An Educational TikTok Channel focusing on Learning and Growth https://www.tiktok.com/@mckgaston?lang=en


2020-Present     PlantStuff: An Introduction to Plant Taxonomy, Landscape Use, and Horticulture- A botanical mini-course with text, graphics, and accompanying videos. https://www.tropplants.com/p/what-is-plant.html


2018-Present     TropPlants: A Growing Collection of Landscaping, Botanical, and Horticultural Information on Tropical Plants.   https://www.tropplants.com/

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE


2020                   Department Coordinator, Tropical Plant and Soil Science, Coordinated between university facilities, college, contractors, and department during building renovations. 


2019-2021          Chair, Tropical Plant and Soil Science Graduate Student Organization Plant Sales.


2018                   Co-Founder, Fiat Lux Labs, A Berkeley-Based Bioengineering Start-Up Specializing in Revolutionary Sensor Technology. Company absorbed by Gingko Bioworks. 


2017-2018          Campus Ambassador, Margaritaville University, Berkeley, CA. 


2016-2018          Owner/Manager, Berkeley Restoration, Renovation, & Relocation (BRRR), Berkeley, CA. 


2016-2017          Garden Intern, California Native Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco, CA. Maintained the California Native Garden: pruning, weeding, infrastructure repairs and maintenance, plant propagation from seed and cutting, and greenhouse growing techniques.

 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE


2018-Present     Dissertation Research, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Tropical Landscape & Human Interaction Lab, Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences Department. Research Focus: Investigating the effects of weak oscillating magnetic fields on germination rates and antioxidant synthesis in microgreens.


2018-Present     Graduate Researcher, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Tropical Landscape & Human Interaction Lab, Tropical Green Roof & Living Wall Research Center: built and stabilized infrastructure (free standing walls, Live Wall systems, irrigation, data lines), selected plants and media, and installed biosensors and data collecting equipment. Arboriculture research on technologies for mitigating root induced infrastructure damage in tropical urban street trees.


2018                 Undergraduate Researcher, University of California, Berkeley; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Albany, CA, Coleman-Derr Lab, Plant-Microbe Relations: Developed media, plated seeds, extracted and quantified DNA using sterile techniques.

                             Project title: “Investigating the relationship between bacterial communities of root rhizosphere and endosphere in Suberin knock out Arabidopsis.”


2017                 Research Assistant, University of California, Berkeley; East Bay Regional Parks, Wood Lab. Collected data on symptomatic and asymptomatic trees, organized data, presented research at a poster session.

                            Project Title: “Investigating Sudden Oak Death Dynamics in East Bay Regional Parks.”


2016                 Undergraduate Research Apprentice, University of California, Berkeley, Wilkie Lab, Flotation and Anthracology: extracted artifacts and ecofacts from sediment samples using flotation, sorted and dried artifacts and ecofacts, determined plant species from charcoal ecofacts using light microscopy with digital imaging. 

 

PUBLICATIONS


2019                 Kaufman, Andrew; Gaston, Matthew; Wong, Justin; Burr, Noah.  (2019) “Tropical Urban Tree Below Ground Mitigation Techniques” Tropical Landscape and Human Interaction Lab. Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. August 2019.

 

PAPER PRESENTATIONS & CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS


2019                 Keeping It Green in Paradise: Green Roof & Living Wall Research”, Andy Kaufman, PhD., Matthew Gaston, Justin Wong, and Elizabeth Song Lockard, Ph.D. Sustainable Urban Environments: Research, Design and Planning for the Next 50 Years; EDRA50 Brooklyn, NY; May 22-26, 2019

PROFESSIONAL EVENTS


2021, July 22      Invited Speaker for the Houseplants Discord Server Pride & Plants Speaker Series.   Presented an “Introduction to Plant Morphology: Shapes of Plants- Part 2!”


2021, June 10     Invited Speaker for the Houseplants Discord Server Pride & Plants Speaker Series.   Presented an “Introduction to Plant Morphology: Shapes of Plants”


2021, Jan 6        Invited Speaker for University of Hawaii, Manoa Teaching Assistant Training. Q&A Panelist sharing my experiences with online teaching and in-person teaching while maintaining Covid safety guidelines.


2020, Feb 5        Exhibitor for the Tropical Landscape and Human Interactions Lab at Ag Day at the Hawai’i State Capital.


2020, Jan 31       Exhibitor for the Tropical Landscape and Human Interactions Lab at the 1st Annual CTAHR (College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources) Day at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. 


2019, Sept 4       Staffed the Tropical Plant & Soil Science Department table and the TPSS Graduate Student Organization Table at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Annual Fair. 


2019, Aug 26     Participated in Welina Mānoa welcome event for undergraduate students. Greeted students at the Tropical Plant and Soil Science table and discussed the program. 


2019, Aug 21     Presented a poster at the 2nd Tropical Landscape and Human Interactions Lab “Sneak Peak” Field Day for Tropical Urban Street Techniques for Mitigating Root Induced Infrastructure Damage. University of Hawaii Waimanalo Research Station.


2019, July 6       Hosted a Field Day and presented a poster at the Tropical Landscape and Human Interactions Lab “Sneak Peak” Field Day for Tropical Urban Street Techniques for Mitigating Root Induced Infrastructure Damage. University of Hawaii Waimanalo Research Station.


2017, Aug 10     Presented a poster at UC Berkeley BERET +C Poster Session. Poster Title: “Investigating Sudden Oak Death Dynamics in East Bay Regional Parks.”


2017, June 2      Attended “DuPont-Pioneer Plant Genome Engineering Symposium”, University of California Berkeley. 

 

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS


2021-Present     National Society of Leadership and Success


2021-Present     Gamma Sigma Delta: The Honor Society of Agriculture


2019-Present     American Society for Horticultural Science


2018-Present     American Association for the Advancement of Science

 

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITES


2019                 Campus Arboretum Volunteer, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI


2016                 Herbarium Volunteer, University/Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley, CA, Ferns and Fern Allies; Supervisor Dr. Alan Smith


2012                 Garden Volunteer, San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio, TX



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Most Popular Plants

Bucida buceras 'Variegated' (Dwarf Variegated Geometry Tree)

Graptophyllum pictum (Caricature Plant)

Pseuderanthemum carruthersii var. carruthersii (Variegated False Eranthemum)

Breynia disticha (Snow Bush)

Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia (Wax Fig)

Ficus triangularis (Triangle Fig)