Much has happened, and many hours have been spent in the field and lab since my last update.
Hello again! A lot has happened since the last blog I posted, ranging from the work I have done for my project to life in general in Chicago. At first, I was intimidated by the massive size of Chicago. But now, I really don't mind the city life. There is always something to do, and I actually like the idea of getting around by public transportation.
Hi everyone! The final stage of this research experience is here. I hope you have enjoyed these weeks as much as I have. Let the countdown begin!
I can’t believe how quickly the past eight weeks have passed. I'm also amazed that my fellow Team Echinacea crew members and I have had such great successes with our group and individual projects.
Here is just one of the many fun group projects I’ve been able to help out with:
To have complete understanding of the carbon cycle we must observe all sources and every flow of carbon. A vital step in carbon cycling comes from the degradation of biopolymers. Such biopolymers include cellulose, chitin, and lignin. These molecules are degraded by specialized enzymes excreted by organisms, most importantly fungi and bacteria.
It’s already week eight in the internship, and the time has flown by! I have been working with Christopher Warneke and Kayri Havens-Young to investigate the impact of invasive and biocontrol weevils on Cirsium pitcheri, a threatened plant which is native to the dunes around Lake Michigan.
Local adaptation, gene flow, maternal effects, genetic drift, inbreeding depression. These are just a few of the population concepts that I have been reading up on in the literature in order to really understand the potential implications of my project's results. I can’t wait to crunch my numbers and interpret this mountain of data.
Hello again! We are now at week 7, and there is certainly good news to proclaim. After weeks of pipetting, prepping PCR plates, pouring gels, and running gel electrophoresis, the troubleshooting process is for the most part over!
Last week, the Botanic Garden's Paleobotany team returned to the Field Museum for one last session with the Scanning Electron Microscope. We use the SEM in order to take detailed photographs of lignite leaves and charcoal wood. Before they are placed in the SEM, the samples are coated in a thin layer of gold in order to reduce charging.