Maria’s Poster for MEEC 2013!

Hi everyone,

I presented a poster at MEEC 2013 (which Katherine wrote on in the previous entry) and just got back from another poster presentation at Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS) today!

Here’s my poster – enjoy looking at it to see what I found out from my summer fieldwork!

Dichanthelium Flowering!

Hi everyone,

Maria here at CBG. On Tuesday, I came back from Thanksgiving break to find that one of the Dichanthelium plants in the growth chamber was flowering like crazy!

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So many flowers! It was also interesting that the plant that flowered looked more stressed (yellow leaves) than some of the other plants.

Today, I collected some pollen (shook the spikelets) on glass slides, stained them with 0.1% toluidine blue, and looked at them under the microscope. It was amazing to see the stained pollen, and how different the viable and inviable pollen looked! I wish I had pictures. I will be learning how to take digital microscopic images (hopefully tomorrow?). So hopefully I’ll be able to stain pollen from all flowers tomorrow, take pictures of the stains, and count pollen to get a sense of levels of viability in Dichanthelium pollen.

Maria’s Poster

Title: Examining Pollen Limitation in a native prairie panic grass, Dichanthelium leibergii


It has lots of cool pictures and Dichanthelium as the background! 🙂

See you at the symposium!

Another old poster from Maria

Here’s an improved version of my poster on my pilot study of Dichanthelium germination, which I presented at the Undergraduate Research & Arts Expo at Northwestern. It’s pretty much the same content, but less text and neater.


Sunday & Monday July 29-30

Howdy folks,
Maria reporting from K-town.

Sunday we had a real day off =)

The weather was good and sunny, but not too hot.

Random tidbits from the town hall:
Shona made oatmeal pancakes for breakfast – they were really yummy – thanks Shona!
Kelly and Shona went swimming at Elk Lake and bumped into the Wagenius family
Katherine found a new trail in the forest at the Runestone Park on her biking adventure
Andrew had a great time at home and arrived at the town hall before 11pm
Lydia spent the day helping out in the kitchen at the camp in Alexandria
I made Irish Soda Bread to use up some sour milk, but still have ~1 cup sour milk (turned into buttermilk substitute, any ideas what to do with it? Pancakes would be easiest, but we just had them)

After the weekend break, it’s time for work again! Monday (today) we divided and conquered.
AM – Greg set out his yellow pan traps in his remnants. Stuart, Katherine, Jill, Lydia and I did demo in the remnants. Ruth and Greg came to join us. We found many Echinacea flowering at Loeffler’s Corner East, an okay number at Loeffler’s Corner West, 2 at Railroad Crossing (Douglas County), and ~6 at Yellow Orchid Hill.
The others (Shona, Kelly, Andrew) did CG1 rechecks and then worked on their independent projects.

Ruth bought some delicious fluffy spongy chocolate cake which we cleaned off the dish.

PM – The two teams switched jobs. Stuart led Shona, Kelly, Andrew, Ruth and Greg in demo at KJs and On 27. The rest of us did CG1 rechecks, and then worked on independent projects.

Here’s a file called “Crash Course in R”, which might be helpful to folks

Now for some photos!

Flowering Dichanthelium!
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I think this is a super cool picture as it shows 3 stages of Dichanthelium stigmas/anthers emergence. See how the bottom-most spikelet has the stigma just emerging, while the anthers are still inside; the middle spikelet is open and has both stigma and anthers well-exserted; and the top spikelet is closed and the anthers are drooping out from the spikelet.
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Last but not least here’s an epic picture from our bonfire last year 😀


(Aghh I just finished writing and then when i tried to publish the site told me that my session had expired and of course I lost the whole blog post T___T )

Today was a very hot and humid day. Temperatures into the 90s, feeling like 100. Sweaty sweaty sweaty.

Some of us accomplished field work.
Andrew was in C1 this morning painting bracts and bagging Ech flowers.
Katherine was also in C1 doing her aphid add/exclude experiment.
Shona was out at Hegg Lake for 4 hours painting bracts and observing crossed styles.
I (Maria) was also at Hegg Lake (for my own reference from around 10.30 – 4.40pm) surveying Dichanthelium inflorescences I’ve been tracking for the past week or so, and more importantly, finding plants for my pollen limitation experiment. I have 31 plants flagged and 62 inflorescences twist-tied. I’ll be initiating the experiment tomorrow, so I should be in bed now (hence, I’ll give more details in a later post).

To end off the week, here’s a special 6-leaved Virginia Creeper (they are usually 5-leaved) I found in the 99 south garden. Hope it brings everyone good luck!
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Hi, I’m back!

Maria here. I’m back for my second year with Team Echinacea on the field!

I plan to continue work on Dichanthelium this summer. I had written a proposal for my summer project for a research scholarship earlier, here it is for your reference:
Krieghbaum Scholarship _Wang.pdf

And updates from the maternal lines germination experiment with seeds I collected last summer!
URG Final Report.docx

Currently trying to figure out the nits and grits of the Dichanthelium hand pollination technique. Wish me luck, Uff da!

Also been poking through my photos from last summer. It’s so funny how similar some of them are to this year’s photos.

Dichanthelium Update!

Hi everyone!

Maria here. Sorry that I have not posted since the end of summer, but please rest assured that I’ve not run away with my Dichanthelium seeds, but have been working on them for the past -what? 6 months? A long and intimate relationship indeed.

Brief summary of what has happened:

I did a pilot germination & growth study using bulk Dichanthelium seeds. The results of germination study is nicely summarized in this poster that I presented at Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (MEEC) in Cincinnati 2 weekends ago(?). MEEC was fun and presenting (yapping about) my poster was a lot less nerve-wracking than I had expected:
Thanks to everyone who helped me in my hectic rush to get the poster done X_X

The seedlings are currently growing in the growth chamber at CBG. (There’s pictures in the poster of seedlings in agar and in plug trays!)

I shall put up some more pictures sometime in the future.
There’s a series of pictures I want to put up showing seeds before and after x-ray and scarification – it’s pretty interesting.

I should also post the R script I used to analyze data and produce the graphs on the flog – unfortunately don’t have the file on this computer.

Right now I’m working on scarifying Dichanthelium seeds for my maternal lines growth and germination experiment (probably should explain in better detail later, likely in another poster).

Other good news you might find interesting:
Thanks to A LOT of help from Stuart and other advisers, I applied and got the Northwestern Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grant for my Dichanthelium project during the school year (maternal line germination/growth experiment), and also very recently, the Garden Club of America Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Study Scholarship =)

If you have any questions about Dichanthelium or anything I talked about, you’re welcome to get in touch. My email is right under the entry title.

Project Status: Dichanthelium & Compatophen

After a good 3 months of sunshine and storms and flower-counting, it’s time to head back to civilization and school. Here are my project status updates and associated files. The doc files (MWang_Dichanthelium.doc and MWang_Compatophen.doc) explain what the associated documents are. Some files (perhaps older versions) can be found on the shared drive.


Scanned datasheets that don’t really have much information:
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I will be continuing work on my projects in the fall.

Dichanthelium Data

Was tidying up my data on Dichanthelium over the weekend and came up with a summary of sorts.

Here’s the summary of seed/plant counts & phenology data.

Here’s the raw data + notes + occasional story to help jig my memory 😛

I didn’t include counts from Return A (aka 2nd round) because I didn’t start counting seeds until the 3rd round. (I did not realize that I could count the seeds by merely looking into the envelope until Amber Z suggested it….oops!) 500-600 seeds would be my guess for the seed count for that week.

I have yet to harvest from Staffanson this week (Return G), hence the blank.

Let me know if you think of anything that’ll improve the dataset and/or summary! Thanks!