Browsed by
Month: November 2010

Finally, the light

Finally, the light

We saw the world beyond the bodega yesterday for the first time in a week. It is still there. Hard to believe when a thick wall of clouds and rain holds you hostage in your little wet field station. Robin did a cute sun dance when the wall finally opened and we were all a great deal happier. Maybe the latter is also because my first experiment is finished! There is an end to everything (but two ends to a…

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I am in love with altitudinal gradients (For Andrew)

I am in love with altitudinal gradients (For Andrew)

Climbed a volcano on the weekend. I went from dry forest to rain forest to montane forest to shrubs to grasslands to bare moonscape alpine zones. The vegetation changed, the animals did, the weather did (oh boy, the storm near the top!). But I still found bromeliads at 1600m! And they had mosquito larvae in their tanks. Students, come and work on altitudinal gradients on volcanoes in Costa Rica! (but bring better rain gear, flimsy ponchos do not like strong…

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An inordinate fondness for side-experiments

An inordinate fondness for side-experiments

Inspired partly by the work of Cam Webb, Marc Cadotte, my former advisor Peter Kotanen, not to mention our own Nathan Kraft, I’ve been interested in studying the use of evolutionary history (phylogeny) in community ecology for quite some time.  On one hand, understanding the relationships between organisms sometimes helps to predict their ecology, because phylogeny can correlate with ecologically relevant traits (some of which may be hard to measure). On the other hand, knowing how species interact in a…

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T-RFLP

T-RFLP

not JUST a random collection of letters! Months ago, a Dr. Suttle of the Suttle lab (a lab on campus that seems to focus a lot on the ‘metagenomics of viruses’ and other such things) gave a talk about the role viruses play in determining ecosystem functioning in the global ocean. After the talk I was curious so I did some googling – sure enough, nobody knows anything really about the microbe communities of bromeliads. The closest thing was the…

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