Pesticides, wetlands, and experimental ecology (PLE day 8)
Today was exam day in wetland ecology, so the students spent the morning sharing their newly acquired knowledge of wetland ecosystems.
The course TA, Jessica Hua, then gave us a presentation on her PhD research, much of which is focused on understanding the ecological consequences of pesticides on the structure of aquatic communities and amphibian populations. Some of her recent work is here and here. After Jessica’s talk we took a tour of the “farm” lab, where Dr. Rick Relyea and his research group are conducting experimental work on the ecological effects of pesticides, as well as a broad range of other ecological topics.
We finished out the day by sampling two more wetlands for macroinvertebrates. We have now collected communities from four sites representing different predation pressures (i.e., ponds with and without fish) and a variety of environmental conditions (i.e., open and shaded). Tomorrow we will identify and quantify the organisms in our samples.