Tag Archives: fieldwork

Exciting news! PhD scholarships coming soon

I’m super excited about my recent success in the Rutherford Discovery Fellowship scheme. The grant is worth $800K over five years and will allow me to concentrate on my research for that period of time. I will be working on a field-based drought experiment in native NZ forest. I will use throughfall exclusion (similar to this) to create artificially droughted plots and will then explore aspects of the physiology and ecology of the plants and associated biota. The funding includes two PhD scholarships. These will be open to ┬ádomestic and international students. If you are interested, please get in touch (via my University of Auckland email address).

Interested students should be specific about their expertise and interest in drought research. Skills in plant ecophysiology, modelling, soil science, forest ecology, fluxes of carbon and water and forestry are particularly desirable. At this stage, I’m hoping one of the students can start in early 2016 with another starting later in 2016 or early 2017. I will post more information as it becomes available.

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Canopy fieldwork = tree climbing fun in the kauri forest

So many things can go wrong in ecoshysiology fieldwork. The main concern is the weather, then there are equipment failures, battery issues, helpers becoming unwell, forgetting gear, the list goes on but we had a close to perfect field trip last week. Here are some photos of our adventures in the field. We were measuring leaf gas exchange (photosynthesis and stomatal conductance) and leaf water potentials of several species in the kauri forest at Huapai Scientific Reserve. We also installed some sap flow sensors at the base of the canopy in our two largest sample trees to complement the sensors at breast height.

Thanks to Dan, Sarah, Jo and Julia for their efforts throughout several long days and a big thank you to Freddie Hjelm from The Living Tree Company and his team, Scotty and Chrissy for their assistance in getting everything happening up above. Some of these photos were taken by Freddie too. Stay posted for some of the results and more photos soon.

There are climbers in each of these trees. Can you spot them?

There are climbers in each of these trees. Can you spot them?