Tag Archives: china

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.

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Panda report!

(from Jim)

Male panda in a tree at Foping Panda Reserve (D. Raubenheimer photo)

Sitting at the airport, about to leave for Phoenix.  Our trip to China was a great success.  After two days visiting historic Xian (including the terracotta warriors), Monica and I headed, along with Nie Yonggang (Wei Fuwen’s PhD student), to Foping and the Foping Nature Reserve.  We hiked 7 km to the research station and spent four days hiking and “chasing” pandas.  We were lucky enough to see them on three of the four days (see pic).  We were joined by nutritional ecologist David Raubenheimer (Massey University) and were able to have extended discussions of how to proceed with new studies of the nutritional ecology of pandas.  Basically, we wish to understand how pandas achieve (or fail to achieve) a diet balanced in protein, carbohydrate, P, Ca, Na, etc given their very limited diet (which, in Foping, consists of only two bamboo species).  Great fun was had and more studies are to come during the coming years.  Thanks to our wonderful Chinese hosts for the hospitality.