Science Blog

In Search of Andreaea

Mount Tammany

Mosses and liverworts rarely get the same consideration that flowering plants do. It is odd how little we know about them. Last week I went to the Delaware Water Gap to search for a group of rock-dwelling mosses believed to be extremely rare in our area—the Andreaea species. The last report of this moss from the Water

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Checking in on Pine Snakes

Pine Snake Census

Last week, I was invited to join the annual pine snake census in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The census is organized by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation to support the work of Dr. Joanna Burger, a professor of ecology at Rutgers University who has been studying pine snakes for most of her career. Others from the

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Wild Seed Hunters

Seed Collecting in the Pine Barrens

It’s early morning and the dew has evaporated in the July heat. We’re leaving Brooklyn for the wilds of New Jersey, crossing the Verrazano Bridge through the sweltering intensity of the city’s low-hanging haze. We are seven people, in one van, on one mission. We’re after a rare jewel in the world of

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The Living Lineage of Flowering Plants

New Caledonia Fieldwork

Amborella trichopoda (Amborellaceae) is the earliest known living lineage of flowering plants. Any student who has taken a class with me over the last 10 years has learned about this amazing plant. In its endemic country of New Caledonia, on Mt. Aoupinie, I finally got to see this amazing and very strange flowering tree.

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Parc de la Rivière Bleue

New Caledonia Fieldwork

Parc de la Rivière Bleue (Blue River Park) is perhaps most well-known national park in New Caledonia. It is in the heart of the southern end of the south province and is famous for its most showy vertebrate residents, the kagus (Rhynochetos jubatus). We were fortunate to visit the park with Daniel and Irène

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Adventures in Fieldwork

Bourail forest canopy

We collected at the end of a harrowing road today – I’m not sure that our car rental agency knew what they were getting into with us! The habitat on the road to the Montagne des Sources Preserve was a mix of high maquis and rain forest on ultramafic soils. I still have not quite gotten used to seeing so many

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