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Team Echinacea Lab Potluck

We had a great turnout for our annual lab potluck yesterday. Good times were had by all as we heard updates about what the lab accomplished this past year. Here are some highlights:

  • This year, Bob and Aldo counted their 250,000th achenes. Anne counted her 400,000th, and Bill counted his 500,000th. Just yesterday morning, Lois, our reigning “achene queen,” counted her 700,000th!
  • We finished doing all the hands-on work for 2014 and have already made great progress on cleaning and randomizing heads from the 2015 harvest.
  • Stuart summarized progress and preliminary analyses of the qGen_a experiment, which tests for the heritability of fitness traits in Echinacea.
  • The lab interns, Rachael, Gordon, Danny, and I, talked about our independent projects, all of which push the frontiers of science!
  • We talked about plans for this summer. While Stuart, Gretel, and I head back to Minnesota, Danny and our citizen scientists will be busy in the lab cleaning last year’s (huge) harvest from Experimental Plot 2 and counting experiments from 2015. They’ll be joined by Chris, a MS student at Northwestern who will help get our (many) achenes organized for storage in the seed bank.
  • There were too many tasty dishes to name all of the ones I enjoyed here. However, as a sampling, there was homemade spinach dip, mashed sweet potatoes, several broccoli dishes, iced tea, and a rhubarb crisp, which we polished off.

We took a group photo:

First row (L to R): Aldo, Gretel, Lois, Shelley, Char, Stuart; Second row: Art, Amy, Susie; Third row: Danny, Sarah, Kathryn, Susan; Fourth row: Rachael, Gordon, Bill, Suzanne

First row (L to R): Aldo, Gretel, Lois, Shelley, Char, Stuart; Second row: Art, Amy, Susie; Third row: Danny, Sarah, Kathryn, Susan; Fourth row: Rachael, Gordon, Bill, Suzanne; Not pictured: Anne, Bob, Laura, Leslie, Marty, Sam, and interns Mackenzie, Keke, and Nina

Thanks for coming, those of you who could make it, and for a great year!

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