This summer has been quite the adventure. I have been trying out a few different techniques, reading a ton of literature, and trying not to go crazy with all of the ideas. As of this week my first dissertation chapter was submitted and I just got the acceptance letter for our Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Ant paper (post coming soon when it is officially out – a rather fun project!).
Some of the work I have been doing at the University of Oklahoma Biostation revolves around thermal tolerances and boy has it been hot (see header image). But this has also opened up a treasure trove of additional follow up questions including some pilot studies on foraging and behavioral dominance. Check back next year for some results 🙂
I have also started to work on a first draft for some work we did last year measuring invertebrate community response to flooding. The results are striking and it was a good learning lesson on field work that helped me with some of my follow up dissertation work. I also was able to play around with community level statistics and simulated random communities for testing null models (something that will be in my first dissertation chapter as well!). Fun project, and perhaps a once in a lifetime chance as there was a 100-year flood at Lake Texoma due to insane levels of precipitation that caused an approximate 33 ft rise in the lake.
Finally, my big experiment for my dissertation will start in August. I am both nervous and super excited. Still working on some of the logistical kinks but I am happy with the direction it is heading.