Final day of ASPB Plant Biology, I'm too tired for other work pursuits, so what better way to finish the week than in a café blogging! The following covers my second week with Erin, ticking off an activity on my bucket list, and attending Plant Biology 2019!
Delaware week 2!
The second week in Delaware involved starting at the field by 7 am. Our current field experiment is combining our expertise and resources to look at strength/physiology tradeoffs and combines 3D imaging, resource uptake rates and mechanical properties of different soil-borne and aerial roots in maize. Since physiological processes change across the day we have tried to finish daily sampling before lunch (and before the temperatures soared into the mid 30s (degrees C)).
The 3D imaging set up was put together over just a few days by the amazing Adam Stager who works with Erin! I'm so impressed with the talent and enthusiasm he oozes! It's no wonder every time I saw him he was surrounded by a cloud of undergrad groupies! I look forward to more impressive advances that he will no-doubt lead!
The week ended extremely hot (high 30s) turning Erin's car into a very effective drying oven so the samples are all set to be ground, and weighed before we send them off for the next round of analysis!
Redwoods - Check!
The following week I had some recovery time and managed to tick off an activity on my bucket list: seeing redwoods in their amazing Californian cloud forests! This region is incredibly interesting for conifer diversity and if you want to know more I can highly recommend the In Defence of Plants podcast with Michael Kaufman. I did not make it as far north as the magic mile, but I still managed an impressive list of conifers, starting from a total lack of knowledge about northern hemisphere conifers (and with previous experience more around cycads and Araucaria species!) to a list of at least 17 species :)
Plant Biology 2019
1400 plant scientists in one building! It's hard to describe! Chaos in a bubble?
The nice thing about this meeting is the ASPB community are very active on social media and on the Plantae platform. By day 2 a lot of people had written their twitter handle on their name tag and I'd met dozens of people I know, but have never met in person!
In addition to running into cyber-friends, and some really interesting symposia, Plant Biology has loads of networking opportunities. 7 am speed networking breakfasts, group chats, open forums, careers advice and mentoring sessions as well as the usual posters and formal dinners. Bizarrely I repeatedly found myself in the 'mentor' seat for the first time at this meeting, having previously benefited as a mentee.
I also had the great pleasure to hang out with the EEPP (Environmental and Ecological Plant Physiology) section of the ASPB. Wonderful people and I'm excited by the possibility of more ecophysiology talks at future Plant Biology meetings and future cross atlantic collaborations!
Now, an early night I think, and then prep for next week's trip to Florida for the workshop: Linking Root Architecture to Function: Theory, methods and technology!