Friday, January 16, 2015

Field work recommences

After a several month silence (mostly a hunkering down to write a grant proposal and lectures for my new course in Conservation Genetics), I am happy to be getting back to some more regular and serious fieldwork. My new postdoc, Shelley Myers, will be undertaking a project examining the responses and resilience of leaf litter beetles to forest disturbance and regeneration.

Today we took our first sampling foray out to one of South Carolina DNR's Heritage Preserves, Buzzard's Roost, just a little west of Walhalla. Although the trail was poorly maintained, we found an abundance of great leaf litter. This was the first sifting I've ever done outside of California, and it was as exciting as it was momentous.

We ran our samples through Berlese funnels as soon as we got back to the lab, and can confirm a wide variety of beetles (leiodids, nitidulids, weevils, and pselaphines were conspicuous), and we haven't really looked at them too closely yet. I'm looking forward to many more outings, and to building a rich collection of a lot of tiny, obscure, and exquisite coleopterans!

Here's a few pictures from the day.

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