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Carleton College Extern Tris Dodge

Dear flog,

My name is Tris Dodge and I am a winter research extern for the Echinacea Project. I am a senior biology major at Carleton College, interested in understanding how human-driven environmental change is affecting species interactions and causing rapid evolution. I spent the summer of 2017 in Carleton’s restored tallgrass prairies, researching how herbivore exclusion affects soil nutrients and community composition. Last summer, I was a research assistant for two projects at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL). I helped gather data on how changing phenology alters the competitive landscape and fitness of perennial wildflowers, and I monitored functional traits, fitness, and glucosinolate chemistry of Boechera stricta in a common garden, as part of a larger genome-wide association study. After graduating from Carleton, I hope to pursue a PhD in ecology or evolution. I enjoy spending my time outdoors and am a member of the cross country and track teams. In my free time, I hike, fly-fish, and knit.

This winter, I am a research extern assisting with projects testing pollen limitation in Echinacea angustifolia and how isolation in space and time affect fitness of Liatris aspera and Solidago speciosa. In practice, each day involves hours of cleaning and counting seeds while thinking about biology. So far, seed counting has allowed me to closely observe the beauty of flower physiology, and has also made me crave sunflower seeds (another Asteraceae). I am very excited to contribute to team Echinacea for these next few weeks!

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