Dr. Nikki Sawyer

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So who's fault is all this Gardenaltity nonsense? Well, it's us, the Gardenality guys and gals...we are to blame!
by Nikki Sawyer · All Zones · Gardenality History · 6 Comments · March 09, 2011 · 43,582 views

Nikki Sawyer, Ph.D.

Gardenality Scientist

View Dr. Sawyer's Gardenality Profile

Dr. Nikki Sawyer got her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2014. Before that, she received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from Clayton State University with a minor in Chemistry. Dr. Sawyer's passions include educating others about the joys of all things science, including plants and gardening. Dr. Sawyer's research interests are broad. She has published research articles on the role of stress in triggering seizures in a couple models of genetic epilepsy, but she has also studied action potentials (electrical signals) in carnivorous plants and the gut-brain axis in tropical cockroaches. Dr. Sawyer's addition to the Gardenality team comes at an exciting time as Gardenality becomes a non-profit organization dedicated to education, conservation, and environmental stewardship.

Nikki's Start

Born Nikki Wetter in McDonough, Georgia, Nikki has always had a fascination with science. She loved to garden from an early age, and conducted "experiments" on backyard ants (yes - Georgia fire ants!) and lightning bugs (fireflies). One of her earliest scientific forays occurred at age nine when she decided to gather and create an ant farm from each of the fire ant nests scattered around he parent's eight acres (about ten different colonies). She wanted to see if there were any behavioral differences between colonies. The ant farms were collected and set up in mason jars (with plenty of ant bites along the way - she learned early on to suffer in the name of science!) covered with cheesecloth and left on a screened in back porch. After a couple of weeks of interesting observations, the ants decided to stage a revolt. Some ants were able to chew their way through the cheesecloth and escape. But as it turns out, ants from one colony hate ants from another colony! The different colonies went to war with each other, and in the morning the back porch cabinet looked like an Ant Armageddon! Ant parts were scattered everywhere as the horrible remains of a night filled with battles galore. Nikki later learned from a researcher while in grad school that the only animals that wage war against others of their kind are humans, primates, ants, and termites!

After high school, Nikki entered the work force and worked a variety of jobs - including working on an assembly line making water valves, working in the human resources department at a wholesale food company, working as a paralegal at a law office, and working as a window clerk at the post office. Along the way, Nikki married a wonderful man from England and became Nikki Sawyer. But she never forgot her love of science. In 2004, she returned to school by enrolling in Clayton State University and earning her bachelor's degree in biology. After that, she attended Emory University where she specialized in neuroscience (study of the brain).

After earning her doctorate degree, Nikki began teaching at Clayton State University. While she discovered a passion for teaching and education, Nikki also had bigger dreams of reaching wider audiences with technology. And with many years of schooling behind her, she has learned how to learn quickly and efficiently - meaning that the sky's the limit!

Sawyer Consulting and Dot Designers

In 2018, Nikki left Clayton State University as a full-time professor (although she is still an adjunct professor teaching part-time) to start her own company - Sawyer Consulting, Ltd. One of her first partnership was with Dot Designers and Chason Arthur. Nikki has always been a technology geek, and she has recently endeavored to learn various programming languages - PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, SQL, and a little bit of C# so far. Nikki's personal goals include making outstanding educational websites (like Gardenality) that will enable her to share the joys of science with many people around the world. She also enjoys graphic design (which started with a graphic design class waaaay back in high school) and is learning how to make full use of Adobe creative programs like PhotoShop and Illustrator.

Nikki brings many things to the table. Her scientific background gives her the ability to quickly read and understand complex scientific material, her educational background gives her the ability to break down complex topics into easy-to-understand bites for the layperson, her programming knowledge gives her the ability to tweak and design web pages with educational content, and her graphic design experience gives her the ability to create her own illustrations and teaching aides. Nikki also has extensive grant-writing experience which will help Gardenality move forward into its next phase of expansion. And her academic contacts with other scientists gives Gardenality the connections it needs to further its mission.

Full Steam Ahead

Gardenality is excited to have Nikki on the team, and we are excited about the continued future and success of Gardenality!

Nikki Sawyer

Meet The Author

Nikki Sawyer - Dr. Nikki T. Sawyer is a biologist who also loves to garden!

Gardenality Administrator · More Articles By Nikki »


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Linda Canto

Linda Canto · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I am so glad I found you guys. Have a great day and good gardening....

9 years ago ·
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Linda Canto

Linda Canto · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
So...I am in Canada ,Montreal...cold winters.I have a shade garden, I love it on the hot summers. But...Have difficulty to keep grass between my stepping stones. What would you suggest?
And...can I get it from you?
Thanks a million.LC

9 years ago ·
0 Green Thumbs Up
Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
To Linda Canto....mondo grass is great for shade and if you can get a short variety , even better.

8 years ago ·
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Gwynn Bounds

Gwynn Bounds · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Chason, thank you for your boldness in sharing your love and devotion for Christ! I feel so close to God in my garden...I look around and see the beauty of His creation....flowers are truly a gift from God, strictly for our enjoyment!! How very much He loves us all!!

7 years ago ·
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