Four fronts

Summer arrived, and that means: fieldwork! And this summer, more than ever before, that fieldwork is spreading across the world. We will have four important fronts of research open this summer, and I aim to keep you updated about all of them as they unfold.

First, we have our team in Norway, in the mountains of Dovre. There, under the expert lead of PhD student Ronja Wedegärtner, we are looking at the impact of hiking trails on biodiversity. This project now has its own website!

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Dovrefjell, Norway, here still under its blanket of snow

Secondly, there is our team in Abisko, Sweden, with PhD-student Jan Clavel. There, the summer will bring a lot more insights on belowground interactions, while we will also greatly expand our microclimatic network in collaboration with the awesome people at CIRC (the Climate Impact Research Center).

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The long-term vegetation monitoring gradient of CIRC, which will be the scene of microclimatic research this summer

A bit closer to home, there is our work on the invasion of exotic plant species in our Flemish cities, led by PhD-student Charly Geron. This will be expanded with a study on dark diversity in the heathlands of Kalmthout.

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Measuring the stress of non-native species across the urban-rural gradient

And then finally, there is our lab component: the processing of root samples from all over the world (currently working on samples from Tenerife) is also in full swing. Less glamorous pictures, yet the results promise to make a splash.

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Cutting roots for the analysis of fungal DNA

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Fieldwork in the Argentinian Andes earlier this year, now being processed in the lab

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