Congratulations to lab alum, Meredith Jabis, on publication of her dissertation research in Ecology! She found that whole alpine community flowering advanced with experimental heating that melted the snow earlier in summer. This was in spite of cooler soil temperatures earlier in the season, indicating that alpine plants are well adapted to flower under cool temperatures, and that snow disappearance is really driving the start of the flowering season, not temperature. At the same time, the length of the flowering season was not extended with warming for most species.
After considerable delay, careful safety protocol development and a revision of our goals for the summer, we managed to get a team to the field to geo-locate and measure trees. This is part of our efforts to create a watershed scale map of forest structure in the East River Watershed in Colorado. Thanks to Tom Powell, Marshall Worsham and Sarah Hettema for persevering!
PhD student Adam Hanbury-Brown’s proposal to the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) program was selected for 3 years of funding. It will enable him to pursue research on post-fire vegetation dynamics using remote sensing and the new vegetation demographic model, FATES. Congratulations, Adam!
Congratulations to Dianne Quiroz who completed her masters in ERG, examining whether conifers hosting bacterial endophyte communities in their foliage influence the relative abundance and phylogenetic structure of taxa in those communities. She is now polishing her results for publication. Also, a belated congratulations to Adam Hanbury-Brown for passing his qualifying exam! It covered tropical forest dynamics, as well as California elk populations and the people who have a stake in managing those populations – typical ERG stuff… 😉
This summer, second year PhD student Rachel Ward visited research partners at the tropical forest research station on Barro Colorado Island, where she spent her days collecting and processing material from litterfall traps on islands’ 50-hectare forest dynamics plot. The long-running litterfall dataset is central to her Masters project, which probes correlations between tree species’ functional traits and their allocation of energy to reproduction.
Lots of us were in the field this summer – seeking new field sites, collecting data in existing ones, and taking samples that will be the subject of additional work over the coming months. Several highlights to follow… In addition, before speaking at the International Association in Landscape Ecology World Congress in Milan, Lara visited the Dolomites in N. Italy where she saw old wildflower friends (Silene acaulis) and met new ones (Aquilegia atrata).
Sophia Bagshaw, who is graduating with honors in Environmental Sciences from the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley this month gave a terrific presentation on her honors research, “Coast Redwoods and Climate Change: Age-based Differences in Hydraulic Traits.” She worked closely with postdoc Tom Powell and will present her results again at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Kentucky this summer. Congratulations Sophia!
Kudos to Nancy Freitas, who works with Margaret Torn and others in Alaska to uncover the response of arctic lake sediments to warming. She is a finalist in UC Berkeley’s Grad Slam and is competing today to move on to the UC-wide competition! Richard Barnes, another ERGie, is also competing. Good luck to both of you!
Want to work with a top-notch team of scientists to understand how diverse tropical forests will be affected by climate change? Are you a whiz with complex biogeochemical or ecological datasets? Interested in improving how ecology is represented in Earth system models? ¿Hablas Español? If you’ve got your PhD in hand or will have it soon, we’re looking for you! Apply now to be an NGEE Tropics Postdoctoral Scholar.