Earlier than writing and publishing papers and presenting thrilling new findings, most ecologists expertise among the finest issues about doing science: subject work! If you’re fortunate – as I used to be on this case – doing subject work means nice climate, an superior group, a phenomenal panorama, onerous work, good samples, a lot of enjoyable and new pals! Nonetheless, it may possibly additionally imply unhealthy climate, no clear garments, and drastically altering your rigorously deliberate and well-prepared protocol in a single sleep-deprived instantaneous to resolve unexpected difficulties.

These photos illustrate our 6-week subject work marketing campaign within the French Alps, the place we collected knowledge for the ECOPICS undertaking. On this French-Mexican undertaking, we research how vegetation, soil biota and abiotic variables differ with altitude. In each France and Mexico, we dug up soil monoliths to extract roots, soil meso- and macrofauna, microbial samples, and picked up leaves and nice roots from a number of plant species to review leaf and root covariation alongside an altitudinal gradient.

These subject campaigns wouldn’t have been potential and never almost as a lot enjoyable with out the assistance of very devoted subject and technical assistants and several other nice BSc college students, who sacrificed their summer time break to assist us out. I hope these photos encourage college students to enroll in such scientific summer time breaks – they’re much appreciated by researchers!

Monique Weemstra, Postdoctoral researcher, CEFE & AMAP, Montpellier, France

Beginning on the lowest altitude (1400m asl): college students accumulating the nice (principally distal, lowest-order) roots of Picea abies. Ensuring the collected roots belong to the identical tree because the leaves that had been sampled requires fairly some digging. (Picture: MW)

Gathering, labelling and storing a complete plant (Peucedanum ostruthium) for additional evaluation within the lab. (Picture: MW).

Gathering, labelling and storing grass, which could be fairly onerous to accurately determine. (Picture: MW).

Strolling to our subsequent plots at 2000m altitude. (Picture: MW).

Having fun with the gorgeous panorama close to Lac Achard (2000m asl). (Picture: MW).

Washing and sorting roots from monoliths at our French gite: an improvised lab and root washing facility and residential to 20+ generally moist and muddy, and sometimes hungry, ecologists. (Picture: MW).

Scanning roots in our lab/mattress/television/laundry/pizza occasion room. (Picture: Hans Reijnen).

Climbing a tree (Sorbus aucuparia) to gather uncovered leaves. (Picture: MW).

Climbing a tree (Sorbus aucuparia) to gather uncovered leaves. (Picture: MW).

Our group accumulating vegetation at 2400m; on the proper, within the valley: Grenoble. (Picture: MW).

Our group accumulating vegetation at 2400m. (Picture: MW).

Certainly one of our group members occurs to be a digicam man (and coincidentally, my husband) who additionally made a phenomenal quick video about this subject work marketing campaign (which could be watched right here: https://vimeo.com/315257143). (Picture: MW).

Having fun with a French lunch, a relaxation and the gorgeous panorama on the mountain ridge. (Picture: MW).

Our full subject group celebrating the top of subject work (picture: nameless hiker). 


View extra picture collections within the fieldwork part of the weblog. 




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