Pollinator Efficiency Information Celebration!

I’ve attached some goodies for everyone today, which are strategically placed at the end of this post. I am heading back to California on Tuesday and this will be my last flog post. I am go grateful to have been given this opportunity and I will miss lovely meals, Gretel’s chocolate cake, and all of the wonderful people I’ve met. I could list many other things that I will miss, but I suspect everyone is anxious to get to the sweeter section of this post.


My original proposal (with preliminary protocol):
Pollinator Efficiency Proposal 2014 .doc
Revised Procedure:
Pollinator Efficiency Procedure.doc
The observation datasheet we used in the field:
Observation Data for P1:
Observation Data for P2:
Video ID Data for 2014 in P1:
Video ID Data for 2014 in P2:
Video ID Data for 2010, 2012, and 2013:
Metadata for Datasheets:
Metadata for videoIDdatasheet_2010-2013.doc

Metadata for PolObData_P2_2014_Final.doc

Metadata for PolObData_P1_2014_Final.doc

Metadata for P2_videoIDdatasheet_2014.doc

Metadata for P1_videoIDdatasheet_2014.doc

Dataset used for Analysis:
R-File for Statistical Analysis (thanks in large part to Jennifer/Jared):
My CBG Presentation:
Pol_Eff_Presentation_MLP_2014 (1).pdf
An Abstract (which could be sent to funders):
Maureen Page Pollinator Efficiency Abstract.doc



I hope everyone enjoys their summer and I’m excited to see what happens in the months and years to come!

Maureen Page.

Chicago Botanic Garden Symposium

This weekend has been very busy and exciting. Last Wednesday I left the comfort of Town Hall for the hustle and bustle of Chicago. On Thursday I had a chance to visit the beautiful gardens and meet the other CBG REU participants. The Chicago Botanic Gardens are stunningly beautiful and they have plenty of Echinacea purpurea.


I even saw some that looked super funky.


On Friday I gave a presentation on my project at the Chicago Botanic Garden / Field Museum / Morton Arborium Symposium. The presentation went well and I received more questions than any other speaker! I was very impressed by the other presentations as well and it was great to see the different types of projects that students were working on while I was in Minnesota.


Saturday was my day to be a tourist so I took the opportunity to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. Viewing Monet’s lily paintings was a pleasant compliment to seeing the real thing at the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Although it was great to have the chance to explore the city, I am very ready to return to the Field to harvest achenes, do some (far more relaxed) data analysis, and help out with the other projects. I miss everyone terribly and am excited to see the rest of the crew in just a few hours!

Stay tuned for the posting of my poster/final data!

With love,
Maureen Page.

Summiting Mountains (of data) on the Prairie

I can’t believe how quickly the past eight weeks have passed. Both my fellow Team Echinacea crewmembers and I have had great successes with our group and individual projects.

In exciting individual project news, Keaton and I have finished collecting observation data for my pollinator efficiency project! We were able to record over 175 visits, more than triple the number recorded last year. The work isn’t over yet though, as we still have to re-watch and re-name files for over 175 visits and analyze a (beautiful and majestic) mountain of data.

Here are some of the big numbers:

Greatest number of shriveled styles:

Date: July 23rd
Head: 10-13-grn
Pollinator: Andrena
Visit Duration: 3.25 minutes
Number of Shriveled Styles: 71

Longest Visit (based on videos watched thus far):

Date: July 23rd
Head: 17-26-yel
Pollinator: Andrena
Visit Duration: 12.15 minutes
Number of Shriveled Styles: 5

All though we still need to climb a few more pitches on data mountain before we can say with certainty, it appears as though long visits by Andrena do not necessarily result in more shriveled styles. Based on field observations, we believe this is because Andrena bees normally spend longer on the first heads they visit when their pollen baskets are un-filled with the compatible pollen required to cause style shriveling. The ideal visit duration seems to be 2-5 minutes for Andrena.

Well I better put my harness on and get back to climbing. The peak is in sight, but it will take some real finger strength and mental fortitude to reach it.

Maureen Page

Puppies, Proposals, and Palette-pleasing Plates!

The small town of Kensington received five new adorable puppies last week. After some sleuthing and chatting with the friendly locals, team Echinacea received the chance for some much needed puppy playtime.


But what’s more exciting than puppies? Proposals and updated procedures!

Pollinator Efficiency Proposal 2014 .doc

Pollinator Efficiency Procedure.doc


Attached to this post you will find team pollinator’s original proposal as well as an updated procedure and an updated datasheet. The past three weeks have flown by and we have already conducted observations on 175 heads! This means that we are only 25 heads short of our goal just in time for the end of flowering. It is also amazing how much we have learned and how much we have had to change our procedure. I hope that someone will pick up this project next summer and this updated information will help them to avoid some of the problems we’ve encountered.

In other exciting news, tonight I cooked Ratatouille for the team. Thank you Gretel and the Wagenius garden for the delicious basil!


My favorite French dish + my favorite people = the perfect end to a relaxing Sunday.

Andrea and Maureen: a Bee-utiful Relationship

The field season is heating up for Team Echinacea both literally and metaphorically. Much of the metaphorical heat comes from the awesome work everyone has been putting into group and independent projects. However, a small portion of this heat also comes from a budding relationship between Andrea and I that was sparked at experimental plot 2 a week ago. On my day off, I missed her so much I simply had to draw a picture of her.


Why is Andrea so special to me? One important reason is that she is an Andrena bee and Andrena seem to be the most efficient pollinators of Echinacea angustifolia based on our preliminary findings. Another reason is that she is absolutely adorable and very photogenic.


Aside from missing Andrea, I also made dinner for the team. I decided on sweet potato black bean tacos with homemade tortillas. Mmmm…..


Western Prairie Fringed Orchid

Today, Team Echinacea left the comfort of Kensington for a very exciting day at a Nature Conservancy Preserve near Fertile, Minnesota. We helped Gretel survey two plots of Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, a federally threatened species. Gretel is monitoring these plants to examine the effects of different land management practices. Here is a picture of the study species:


The team powered through both plots with plenty of time left over for a trip to LaLa’s for delicious homemade ice cream. Following ice cream, we spent some time at Agassiz Sand Hills to check out some unique prairie plants (as well as some very beautiful poison ivy). Here is a picture of the team post-completion of the second plot:


Thank you Gretel and The Nature Conservancy for dinner, ice cream, and an adventurous day!

Sunny Sundays and Pollination!

For Keaton and I, Sunday began with a refreshing early morning bike ride to the Hjelm House for a run-through of the protocol for our pollinator efficiency experiment. The weather was lovely and we observed agapostemon, augochlorella, and a halictus bee pollinating E. angustifolia! Here is a picture of one of the heads we bagged to exclude pollinators:


After biking back to town hall, the usual Sunday activities followed: napping, reading, laundry, and cooking Spinach Mushroom Quiche for the team. I was very sneaky and added some of the Kefir that both Claire and I have been cultivating as a replacement for Buttermilk. This is what the Kefir grains look like:


Flowering Echinacea!


Team Echinacea attends Midwest Viking Festival!

My Saturday began with some casual sketching as a way to get more familiar with some of the common pollinators found on E. angustifolia. Fun fact: illustrating correct wing venation is very arduous process.


I then joined everyone else for a team brunch at the local diner. Once all members of Team Echinacea were sufficiently stuffed with pancakes, eggs, hash browns and other belly-expanding foods, 62.5% of Team Echinacea set sail for Fargo to attend the 37th Scandinavian Hjemkomst/ Annual Midwest Viking Festival! There were battle demonstrations, informative exhibits, and plenty of Scandinavian crafts, foods, and performers. A team favorite was the Hopperstad Stave Church Replica that Cam sketched with the precision of a seasoned Viking-aficionado (Figure 19.F).


The day ended was some delicious Fettuccini Alfredo prepared by Keaton and we all fell asleep full of both food and new knowledge!

Skal! (Cheers in Norwegian from the Old Norse word for cup)

-Maureen Page

Introduction: Maureen Page

Hello everyone! My name is Maureen Page and I am a rising Junior at Scripps College majoring in Biology. If you would like to know more about me and my research project you can check out my bio on the Echinacea Project website.