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Onward to Inner Mongolia, Badan Jarain Desert, and beyond!

Members of the Elser lab (Jim, Jenni, Ari) and honorary Elser lab member Jon Harrison are on their way to China to continue our collaboration with former Elser Lab member Niu Decao and colleagues at Lanzhou University.  We will be meeting with various folks in Hohhot to discuss livestock and locusts then on the Lanzhou for further discussions.  Once that is over, we will head north to the remote Badan Jarain desert for exploratory sampling of lakes and desert biota in this massive “sand sea”.   We are psyched for sandy fun and great science.


Elser Lab has strong showing in Portland!

The Portland Joint Aquatic Sciences meeting was certainly a big deal – ~3000 scientists from around the world and from four scientific host societies.  The schedule was completely jam-packed, 8 AM – 6 or 8 PM every day.   Members of the Elser Lab were highly engaged.  Eric and Amanda co-organized a session on the stoichiometry of consumer-driving nutrient recycling and presented their results there.  Jess presented her work on the Aravaipa shading experiment and Meagan presented her Aravaipa bioassay experiments in the Tuesday poster session.  Finally, Jim presented an update on “Life on Floating Pumice” in the cavernous Oregon Ballroom, where at least 2000 chairs were in attendance.

There were also happy reunions with former members of the Elser Lab, such as Paul Frost, Michelle McCrackin, and Kumud Acharya (below).





Second set of highlights from El Calafate and El Chalten!

Featuring: sheep and wind. And a guacho. And a lot more wind.


Highlight videos from El Calafate & El Chalten

Lots of great stuff from the southern heart of Patagonia…


Day three: Pure Patagonia

Day three:  Pure Patagonia

Perito Mereno glacier in the background and a curious, and slightly pissed off, guanaco in the foreground. Patagonia at its finest.


Day Two in El Calafate: let’s cross the river on a horse…

A little snippet of fun on the pampas, near El Calafate & Perito Merino glaciar.


Ridiculous flowers with Torres del Paine in the distance

Ridiculous flowers with Torres del Paine in the distance

Si, es verdad!


Day Two at El Calafate: “Cabalgatas” means “horseback riding” in Spanish!

Another great day in Patagonia!

Day One El Calafate: settling into the estancia…

Feels great to be way down south again in Patagonia!  We arrived mid-afternoon to El Calafate, just a bit northeast and across the border from Torres del Paine.  The flight was pretty short but I had a good seat on west side of the plane and watched the parade of volcanoes and gigantic glacial lakes go by.  A shortish ride in the remise brought us 20 km west of El Calafate, to the Hosteria Galpon de Glaciar, part of an old estancia and where they have agricultural demonstrations of sheep herding and shearing etc.  A very friendly and funky place – free bikes to ride, lots of birds and friendly dogs around, good Patagonian food and Malbec from Mendoza, power goes off at night and no TV but nevertheless wireless in the lounge.  The kind of place I really like!  Tomorrow maybe some horseback riding but our big trip on Perito Merino glacier is on Saturday.  Let’s hope for some decent weather and a good sighting of the big peaks: Cerro Torre and Fitzroy.


Student team needed for film about Cuatro Cienegas!

So, I am now gearing up to make the film about Cuatro Cienegas that we promised as part of our last NSF grant. I need a place to send interested students too, so here’s the scoop.