Outdoor experiments

What a week! There are many exciting projects going on at the moment, within our group at the Institute. We just wrapped up the experimental phase of a large experiment about litter decomposition last week, which was led by a colleague of mine. It was a load of work, but could potentially lead to a very exciting story later on, so hopefully all our efforts will pay off. You’ll here it here someday!

Besides that, our whole group teamed up nicely earlier this week to kick our long-term field mesocosm experiment into a next phase. Lots of dirt scooping, block chopping and planting later, we now have a beautiful fresh new follow-up on this experiment. It always feels good to be able to use existing experiments to answer new questions and it is even better when you can do it as a team. The Netherlands has been blessed by some exceptional spring/summer weather these past few weeks and Monday and Tuesday were no exception.

That’s the team, after day 1 of the transition phase. Photo courtesy of Emilia (@e_hannula), the Yoga Lady on the right

After some tough brainstorming with my supervisors last week, we made some final choices concerning the figures for my third PhD data manuscript. This week I have made a lot of progress in writing up the actual manuscript. I expect that I can finish and hopefully submit this one quite soon! Three down, one to go! (I have a few analyzed datasets from previous experiments on the shelf already, so I might even finish a fourth one quite soon after)

Last, but not least, I applied the last treatment to my new field experiment last week, shortly after finishing the big decomposition experiment. It of course involves herbivory, plant communities and soil legacy effects, but I’ll save the details for a later moment! Next week, I will plant phytometer plant species in order to measure whether my treatments actually had an effect.

So, it seems like I will have an interesting field summer season, which I’m really looking forward to. As my field location is pretty neat to look at, it will be nice for this blog space, too!

20160907_134945 - kopie
Another longer-term field experiment that we have currently up and running at our field site. Totally unrelated to this post, but hey, the field site looks pretty nice in the sun! My new experiment is actually behind me (the camera man) in this picture.





Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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