Done By Yours Truly

While working with the Echinacea Project since spring, I have surprisingly only ever cleaned one or two Echinacea heads. I have done a lot of cleaning and randomizing with Liatris aspera as well as rechecking, scanning, and randomizing for Echinacea angustifolia. But here is one of those rare heads cleaned by me! It has been cleaned, rechecked, and now scanned by yours truly. Sadly there were no achenes found in this one.

Rainy Garden Days

It’s rainy season! The past few days we have been getting a good amount of rain. Walking into the garden, it felt like I had woken up at the crack of dawn or was getting in late in the afternoon. While the rain makes me a little drowsy, it makes all the plants very happy. Here are some of those happy plants!

Tree Hugger Era

Magical hobbit houses to old giants. Yesterday I got to join the REU interns for their field trip to The Morton Arboretum where I was able to learn and appreciate the different variety of trees in their exhibitions. It was interesting to see so many kinds of trees and also learn more about the endangered species and the reasons why they are currently endangered. Here is a picture of the spruce plot off in the distance. It is so majestic! Unfortunately, we were not able to get off the tram and wander into the spruce tree forest.

After the tram tour of the arboretum, we were able to get a tour of their lab space and learn more about the different ongoing projects. One of the REU interns there was studying traits of different urban trees in hopes of being able to determine what type of trees would thrive better in urban environments where there is a limit to resources, such as water and soil volume. In their herbarium, they had what one might call a spice rack but for plants and look what I found among their collection! Yes! Echinacea seeds!

This trip was very fulfilling and definitely worth the 4-hour round trip Metra ride!

Orientation Week Done!

Finally done with orientation week! This past week I have had the chance to tour the different labs located in the Plant Science Center, visit UIC’s heritage gardens, and see the amazing resources the Lenhardt Library has to offer! I was able to learn not only more about the different projects other interns will be working on this summer but also more about fieldwork safety and intern wellness. I am so excited to dive into what this summer has in store for me while also being more mindful of my well-being. Here is a photo of some Echinacea found in the diverse garden beds on the UIC campus.

Fannie Liang

Echinacea Project 2023

Biological Sciences (Ecology Concentration) & Psychology, Northwestern University, 2024

pronouns: she/her

Research Interests

As someone coming from a pre-health background, I am still exploring my interests in the different areas of plant research. I am interested in learning more about native plants, conservation, and plant ecology. I am also interested in learning more about human and animal interactions with plants.


I am from Chicago! I have always been interested in science and biology, so going into pre-med/pre-health seemed like the most rational decision to make. However, after taking more biology classes involving plants and ecology, I became more interested in plant ecology and human-plant/animal-plant interactions.

In my spare time, I like to knit/crochet (would love to get back into embroidery and sewing), spend time by the lakefill, watch dramas, and be a virtual farmer in Stardew. This summer, I would love to explore the garden more and to learn more plant names.