Saturday, October 22, 2016

Trees are great

Click this title to check out a great article: The health benefits of trees is worth a lot of money

Here are the fall colors I saw while driving in Ohio this week, we have some dead ash trees along the road too.  These dead ash trees are a reminder to me of why my research is so important.

Friday, October 7, 2016

BG Biology visitor Dr. Rosi-Marshall tells us about drugs in the water, speed in the streams

We had a great visitor at the Biology department yesterday, Dr. Rosi-Marshall of the Carey Institute of Ecosystem Studies. The title of her presentation was, "Pharmaceuticals and personal care products as agents of ecological change." Research she conducts with others at the institute, as well as graduate students, is about understanding the changes that occur when these drugs/chemicals are put into freshwater streams, and how that influenced ecosystem function.

She was able to meet with quite a few people from the department so we could talk about related topics before her seminar lecture. It was very nice to talk to someone who has such enthusiasm for science and interest in trying different methods to conduct research.  For example, one of her collaborators is trying to figure out how to get small scale movements of hippos in Africa. They ask questions like, "Could we make a device that will land on these huge animals and stick to them?". We told her about how we use a fluorescent powder & mineral oil mixture on undersides of turtles to track them in our area. We also discussed the importance of science communication to the public and how interesting things will be for the future of science in social media. Also, how interesting it is to gather data from apps and how we could use apps for science? Like in the case of Lauren's research, could we get people to use an app to take pictures of roadkill or animals they see crossing the road? (hopefully not while driving).
You can find more about the research and her at this link: Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall Profile

Check out our pic with her on Instagram

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ash Seed Collection

On top of a semester already full of classes, schedules, meetings, writing, and data analysis, there is still a little more field work. Now is the time for seed collection of ash trees and Rachel was able to get some help with this from the Forest Service. They went out to collect seeds from the few remaining adult trees in the area.  Many of them have produced seed, but the embryos inside were not fully developed. This can happen for a variety of reasons: the wrong type of weather occurring at the wrong time (spring frost), tree stress (EAB beetle), or golls (parasites creating the flower or seed into a home).  Also, there are male and female ash trees so they cannot fertilize themselves.  If the males and females are not close enough together the pollen from the males cannot fertilize the female flowers on the tree. Here are a few picks of the process and trees:
First is a pic of the extendable pole pruners (yellow), which are very handy and kinda heavy.
 Then this is a branch that has seeds and flowers that have a goll formation
 And one of the seeding trees next to the creek