Week 5 Update

It’s the beginning of my fifth week and so far I have learned the first three steps of the ACE process, cleaning echinacea heads, rechecking, and counting achenes. I have been practicing and refining all of these skills over the past few weeks and last week I participated in the trial rechecking assembly line with several other volunteers. As for counting, my official achene count is up to 14,485!  

I am currently working on choosing my research topic for the remainder of my semester. The three ideas that I am choosing between are seed predation in E. angustifolia, climate change and flowering times of echinacea angustifolia, and physical characteristics of echinacea angustifolia that could be predictors of survival of the individual or reproductive fitness. I have chosen to use my time in the echinacea lab to investigate the relationship between the basal and cauline leaf characteristics and the survival of individual E. angustifolias. Pictured below is an example of a cultivar basal leaf rosette from an echinacea at Chicago Botanic Gardens. I am excited to explore this question further throughout the semester.  


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