Photos from our field trip to sample cottonwood cuttings on the Caney Fork River last month

Field trip for sampling cottonwood cuttings on the Caney Fork River last month

Thought I would post some photos of the first field work outing of the year. We were out on the Caney Fork River in Central Tennessee where we have done several studies in the last few years. Primary objective was to obtain cuttings of trees for some upcoming greenhouse experiments. Secondary objective was to play with the “big shot” which is the giant sling shot we used to get lines over the tall limbs to bring them down to get the cuttings. Both were a success!

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Big Tree of Populus Isolates

BigIsolateTree

I had fun putting together a figure this weekend for a proposal. This shows a phylogenetic analysis of partial 16S rRNA genes obtained from over 2400 bacterial isolates we have collected from Populus roots in the past several years. Also I discovered in the process a cool new online tool for making this tree called the “Interactive Tree of Life” (iTOL – http://itol.embl.de/). iTOL Seems to be pretty user friendly way to display a variety of different types of data on organisms in the context of their phylogeny! Shown here is categorical information around the outside of the tree about the origin of each isolate. However this program is able to display a variety of data types and formats, including continuous information in the form of bar charts and relative abundance data in the form of pie charts.

New Experimental Field Site? Maybe….

New Experimental Field Site?

Just finished a lengthy grant proposal effort. For those of you who don’t know it can be an arduous process; coming up with new ideas, thoroughly researching them, writing the 15 pages of the proposal, getting all the collaborators to agree on it, and making sure you have the other 15 pages of junk that is required all formated correctly. Always difficult at best, painful at worst. At the end you are never quite sure whether to declare victory or accept defeat. Then it disappears for 9 months, and just when you have forgot about it, it either reemerges as a project that you have to figure out how to really accomplish, or it collects dust until the next RFP deadline. I’m happy to say, I am now in the waiting phase.

Anyway, this is one of the sites we chose to propose to do work in, when I hiked up last week to check out this place on a ridgetop about 2 miles from my office. Definitely would be great to get the opportunity to visit this place more often! Here is a link to the Project Summary for those that are curious. Thanks to Aimee Classen, Greg Hurst, and Emily Austin for all there help in putting this together!