From howler monkeys in Mexico to true grit encounters with cowboys and snails in the wild west, graduate students in ecology and evolutionary biology are posting about their summer research adventures around the world. The EEBlog is the current Connect feature on the University of Michigan Gateway.

EEB’s current bloggers and their summer research locales are Marcella Baiz, Tabasco, Mexico; Katherine Crocker, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Jasmine Crumsey, U-M Biological Station; Jason Dobkowski, Toolik Lake, Alaska; John Guittar, Southern Norway (returning blogger); Hyunmin Han, E.S. George Reserve, Pinckney, Mich.; Alex Moore, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Beatriz Otero Jimenez, Chiapas, Mexico.

A sneak preview of what you’ll read about follows.

Baiz is studying intragroup genetic relatedness among adult female howler monkeys with her advisors, Professor Liz Tibbetts and Liliana Cortés Ortiz.

Moore investigates conservation ecology and biodiversity with Professor Tom Duda. She had an unexpected encounter with a stampede of cows and cowboys as part of her field work in the mountains of Oregon. She climbed waterfalls, slipped on wet rocks and camped out in the Oregon wild knowing of the dangers that lurked beyond her tent: “Coyotes. Rattlesnakes. Mountain lions. For emphasis: MOUNTAN LIONS,” she wrote.

Otero Jimenez studies ecosystem ecology, biodiversity and agriculture with Professors John Vandermeer and Priscilla Tucker. She spent nine weeks this summer on a coffee farm in Mexico exploring the effect of different agricultural practices on the population structure of Heteromys desmarestianus (Demarest's spiny pocket mouse).

Crocker studies chemical communication and behavior in insects in the Tibbetts lab.

Crumsey will blog about her terrestrial ecosystem and biogeochemistry research at the U-M Biological Station in northern Michigan, with Professor Knute Nadelhoffer.

Dobkowski is spending the summer in Toolik Lake, Alaska where he will blog about his Arctic ecosystem research with the lab of George Kling.  Dobkowski’s research seeks to understand the fate of newly exposed soluble organic carbon released from thawing permafrost and the potential feedbacks to climate warming.

Guittar is interested in how plant communities change in response to variability in temperature and precipitation. “I will be using a number of above and below ground plant traits, including those relating to clonality, a largely unstudied aspect of community structure,” he said. Guittar’s advisor is Professor Deborah Goldberg.

Han, whose advisor is Professor Earl Werner, studies metadynamics, population biology and ecosystem ecology.

You can visit the EEBlog by clicking on the small orange blogger link at the top of every EEB website page.

Captions: 1. EEBlog screenshot, 2. A cowboy along the wild Oregon trail by Alex Moore, 3. Liliana Cortés Ortiz and Alex Moore collecting samples and taking morphometric data from an adult A. palliata.