BioBlitz! weekend is my most favorite, stressful, and fun work days of the year. My favorite thing is showing people the amazing organisms that live right hear in Oklahoma. Our featured organism this year, and star of this year’s event shirt, was the American Burying Beetle – a federally protected endangered species. I was immensely … More BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2018
The pollinator meadow at the OU Biological Station, Lake Texoma was planted by student of my Field Studies in Conservation Biology class during the hottest two weeks of the summer! Staff and volunteers of the BioStation continued to water the plants during August. And may of the plants survived! We even had pollinators! The rains … More Progress of the Pollinator Meadow
We have begun preparing the area of the pollinator meadow at the OU Biological Station! Last week we placed clear plastic over the weedy patch of lawn near the office at the BioStation. We are solarizing the area with plastic sheeting to kill lawn grass, weeds, and weed seeds in the soil. The plastic sheeting … More Solar Energy
Chloe Paden, undergraduate research assistant, and I have been planting a bunch of germinating milkweeds the past few days. We have at least 1000 tiny plants of five species (Asclepius speciosa, A. viridis, A. asperula, A. tuberosa, and A. syriaca) growing in our greenhouses. Chloe will be writing up the results of the germination trials – we used … More 1000+ Milkweeds!
Starting this year, I am developing the Oklahoma Native Seed Library. We will collect seeds from iconic Oklahoma native plants. My goal is to acquire seeds from around the state to represent a variety of genetic diversity. We will launch the initiative by focusing on charismatic grasses of the Oklahoma prairie and woodlands. As the … More Oklahoma Native Seed Library
I spent the weekend learning about and being inspired by a variety of ecological restoration projects going on in my region. The presentations I sat in on focused mostly on grassland restoration. So, I learned about a herbicide that seems effective on Johnsongrass, but does little harm to native forbs and only affects a few … More Ecological Restoration
As part of my surveys of Oklahoma lakes for aquatic invasive plants, I have started a project to test if environmental DNA (eDNA for short) techniques would be useful for surveying bodies of water for aquatic invasive plants. Environmental DNA is DNA from organisms that is collected from the environment – soil, water, air – … More eDNA