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Potluck 2019 – Thank you, community scientists!

Last Thursday, we had our annual Team Echinacea potluck to honor the work of lab volunteers over the past year. Stuart discussed why what we do is so important and how the work of volunteers helps us to answer important scientific questions. Some great recent milestones accomplished by volunteers include:

Allen, Sam, and Anne reaching 500,000 achenes counted

All 2017 heads have been cleaned, rechecked, and scanned

670,000 achenes were counted and 113,000 achenes were classified in 2019 (so far)

In addition to a general overview of the Echinacea Project’s goals, members of the lab who have individual projects talked about what they are working on. These projects are: Erin’s remnant flowering intervals, Drake’s prairie parasites, Lea’s floral neighborhood, Elif’s congener ploidy project, and Riley’s prairie fragment crosses. It was really great to talk about research and hear about a number of projects.

Most importantly, though, I want to thank all people who volunteer their time to the lab. Without you, the cutting-edge science we do is impossible. Truly, you are making huge contributions to science and our understanding of plant reproductive fitness in anthropogenically fragmented landscapes. Your work is so appreciated, and we are so lucky to have you all around!

Oh, by the way, the food was absolutely wonderful. 11/10.

Team Echinacea IL!
Front (L to R): Drake, Lea, Erin, Stuart
Middle (L to R): Char, Shelley, Allen, Laura, Elif, Gretel
Back (L to R): Marty, Art, Tessa, Riley, Mike, Aldo
Folks eat and Stuart talks about an Echinacea Project paper.
Stuart tries to get a good angle on a photo of Riley and Aldo – photoception.
Lea, Elif, and Riley.
Stuart, Allen, Tessa, and Shelley. Shelley did not see that someone was taking a photo.
Laura, Erin, and Stuart.

All of these photos are courtesy of Ray, a volunteer in the photography group. Thank you very much, Ray!!

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