The undergrads who work in our lab are awesome! Currently we have 10 students working on a diverse range of projects this semester. There are students sieving and germinating seeds from cores taken from a marsh in Maryland. These seeds will help us assess how the sedge Schoenoplectus americanus, has evolved over the past 100 years in response to changes in CO2, temperature, salinity and flooding regimes. We have students entering Public Land Survey data from the 1800s to help us recreate the composition, density, and biomass of historical forests of Indiana and Illinois. Other students are working on a different tree project that involves counting tree rings from 100-200 year old trees in oak savannas compared to those in woodlands to examine the trees’ response to climate change through time. This project also involves cutting up the tree rings to run isotope analyses to asses the water use efficiency of the trees throughout the trees’ lives and in the different conditions. Finally, we have a student working on a project that will use the ecosystem model Linkages within the PEcAn tool to improve predictions of tree growth.
Our undergrads work hard, but they also have lots of fun and they make the lab fun!