One of my favorite aspects of being an ecologist or entomologist is the fact that I get to do some pretty nice hands-on experiments with living plants and insects. Most of this hands-on work I really love doing. Yet, while performing some specific tasks you can just feel that it is bad for your brain.
Today was one of those days…
In a running greenhouse experiment we measured a series of plant traits. The plants that were measured will form the fundament of a series of greenhouse and field experiments for several PhD projects. The trait data collected today will hence serve as a good background knowledge on the founding mothers for our future work. I think this will be incredibly insightful.
I nicely divided the list of traits to be measured by me and our lab technician. She would focus on the ‘whole plant traits’, such as height, leaf number, number of stems, etc. I decided that I would focus on the leaf specific traits. I work on Tansy, which has compound leaves, consisting of pinnae. Leaf length, leaf surface area, and the worst part, the number of pinnae. Roughly 25-30 pinnae per leaf.
My brain is absolute toast!