Allyson and Emma recently led a three week field campaign to Atherton to measure all things trait related. (Pictured above Saskia Grootemaat, Urvashi Lallu, Emma Gray and Allyson Eller).
Armed with two licors, a 15 metre extendable pole, and five research assistants (Saskia Grootemaat, Michelle Demers, Urvashi lallu, Aurelie Dumont and Wuu Kuang Soh), we managed to sample the various leaf and wood traits of over 25 species.
Although the trip started out bright and sunny, after four days we were hit with relentless rain which did not cease for the remainder of our trip (Michelle Demers, Urvashi Lallu and Wuu Kuang Soh pictured above). I guess it shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise, considering we were sampling in a rainforest (pictured below, Allyson after a foray into the forest).
Lunch times with some sun peeking through the clouds did much to lift everyone’s spirits (pictured above from left Michelle Demers, Urvashi Lallu, Aurelie Dumont, and Emma Gray). The enthusiasm of our fantastic team of helpers was untempered by the leeches and the indescribable monotony of separating leaves from stems. And if the rain’s goal was to hinder our progress it was unsuccessful. If anything it made us more determined, and we far surpassed our goal of twenty species.
Getting settled underneath a gazebo and three tarps, we set up a makeshift lab in the field which withstood everything the weather could throw at us. It’s also possible that regular tea breaks helped with our positive attitude.
(Pictured from left, Allyson Eller, Egoitz Alkorta Miranda (a Spanish intern working for CSIRO) , Michelle Demers, Wuu Kuang Soh, Urvashi Lallu and Emma Gray).