The final leg of the NEON ants 2017 project—an NSF funded project— has come and gone. We visited two beautiful locations: Organ Pipe National Monument and Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch. Both of these sites were in Arizona, a state that harbors some of the greatest ant diversity in North America.
Now that the fieldwork is done, the lab work begins. We will start identifying and analyzing the stable isotopes and elemental chemistry of our collected specimens. All of this to answer some of the most important questions in ecology: why are species where they are and what are they doing. Should be a fun semester of identifying ants that should lead to some really interesting results as we try and quantify changes in the ant assemblages from 20 years prior.
Organ Pipe National Monument
Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch
That is all for now! Check back in a little while for more updates for ongoing research and publication submissions.