Sam St.Clair, Plant and Wildlife Sciences
We successfully completed the studies as outlined in the proposal and the data collected has been written up a in a successfully defended MS thesis with two chapters.
Mentored Graduate student
Andrew Lybbert successfully defended his M.S. thesis on the project topic and is in the final stages of preparing two manuscripts for publication from the work.
Mentored undergraduate research participants
- Rachel Nettles (2011-2014) plant invasions and fire ecology
- Alysa DeFranco (2012-2014 desert ecology
- Nate Duncan (2012-2014) desert ecology
- Annie Xie (2013) seed ecology
- Jacob Engel (2012-2014) desert ecology and entomology
- Hannah Payne (2013-2014)
- Kevin Ricks (2013-2014 plant responses to desert fire
Student success in the mentoring environment
We initiated this desert pollination mentoring environment in the spring of 2013. By July 2014 the proposed research studies were completed. Over the span of the project, approximately 25 research mentoring credits (494R) representing approximately 1000 research hours, have been earned by 7 undergraduate researchers (see above). Four undergraduate students were employed full or part time, contributing several hundred additional student research hours to the project. From these studies, 8 oral presentations were given by myself or student working with MEG funding in that two year period. From the completed studies, 2 papers will be published within the next year. Two undergraduate students will earn authorship on these papers for their contributions. Because of the success of the students in the mentoring environment and may close relationship with them I have been able to write strong letters of recommendation for employment, scholarships and entrance into professional and graduate school.
We discovered that fire has positive effects on plant flowering but that but that pollination success and seed production varied depending on pollination strategy. Plants with more specialized pollinator associations were more negatively impacted by fire. We also discovered that cattle consume large desert flowers and that the damage is more severe in burned areas.
Project funds were spend supporting four undergraduate student researchers during the summer of 2013 and 2014 and covering travel costs between Provo and Lytle Preserve