Stephanie Schmiege. Photo by Kevin Griffin.

Stephanie Schmiege: leaf morphology impacts respiration in conifers

In this new post, Stephanie C. Schmiege from Columbia University (New York) presents her work on the physiological differences between flat and needle-leaved conifers, how temperature influences plants respiration mechanisms and the big opportunity she had working in tropical forests. I can think of nothing more inspiring than a grove of majestic pines or hemlocks dancing in the wind.  For as long as I can … Continue reading Stephanie Schmiege: leaf morphology impacts respiration in conifers

Rebecca at work in the glasshouse in Western Sydney

Rebecca Vandegeer: plant silicon defences against herbivores under drought

In this post Rebecca Vandegeer presents her study ‘Leaf silicification provides herbivore defence regardless of the extensive impacts of water stress’, discusses the importance of Silicon for plant growing and the joy of working with plants and insects  My name is Rebecca Vandegeer and I recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. There is growing … Continue reading Rebecca Vandegeer: plant silicon defences against herbivores under drought

Ellen setting up a transect for the plots

Ellen Welti: Better with a grain of salt. Sodium addition increases leaf herbivory and fungal damage in grasslands

Ellen Welti shares her experience doing her latest research ‘Sodium addition increases leaf herbivory and fungal damage across four grasslands’, the implications of Sodium fertilization for agriculture and her secret cat taming skills. About the paper In this paper, we test how elevated sodium in plants would affect how much herbivorous insects and leaf fungal pathogens consume. This study followed previous research from our group … Continue reading Ellen Welti: Better with a grain of salt. Sodium addition increases leaf herbivory and fungal damage in grasslands