In the midst of wrapping up my PhD at University of Queensland, I got the chance to help two new members of the Mayfield Lab set-up experiments and site select.
I first headed out with Dr. Natalie Jones, a postdoc in the Mayfield Lab. We were scouting for sites and setting out some weed-cloth to make a blank-slate on the ground for us to add seed later in the season. Most of the plants were very tiny and therefore hard to ID but we smashed out all of the sites!
Natalie left back to Brisbane to prepare for ESA America 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, and I met up with Grace Leung, a new PhD student in the Mayfield Lab. We traversed much of the northern/central Western Australian Wheatbelt scouting for sites.
Site selection was a bit tricky as Grace’s research is primarily focused around co-flowering wildflowers and mass-flowering crops. Therefore, we were on a trek to find canola or lupin adjacent to nature reserves or bushland remnants. We found a few potentials, but because the rains were late and of small amount for the season, Grace may have to wait a while to pick her final sites. We at least found one fallow canola paddock where Grace is working on implementing a pilot project until the rest of the crop catches up!