The Leaf Litter Lab had the honor of presenting a small glimpse into each individual scopes of research to Christine Hoffmann,  who works for the Public Relations Outreach here at Evergreen.

With focuses on the National Science Foundation-funded ecology research of Mount St. Helen’s, undergraduates have been able to take on multiple approaches to conduct individual research projects. 

Iris Garthwaite is a Senior who takes on both a peer-mentor and leadership role. She’s conducted an entire project around willow catkin and aquatic invertebrate interactions to investigate flowers as detrital resource for stream ecosystems. With the end of her research project she has been working hard at picking a graduate school and writing her first first-author paper!

Brandy speaking about the Norman H. Anderson macro-invertebrate samples.

Brandy Kamakawiwoole is a Junior working on aquatic macro-invertebrate sorting, stream GIF imaging, and analyzing historical BMI records. The historical records are from the 1981-1982 Norman H. Anderson Collection Samples, making them the first aquatic macro-invertebrate samples collected following the eruption of Mount St. Helens!

Angie Frödin-Morgensen is a Senior who has an interest in freshwater ecology. She spends most her time working hard at a microscope sorting through leaf litter to identify aquatic macro-invertebrates. Her research focuses on macro-invertebrate community differences between female and male Sitka willow leaf litter!

Angie discussing the important roles of macro-invertebrates as bio-indicators of streams.

Maddie Thompson is a Junior with interest in environment studies and ecology. She’s been continuing the research on canopy covering influencing in-stream ecosystem function. She also takes part in her research project that focuses on Willow DNA extractions to identify microbial communities.

Lauren Thompson is a Junior studying ecology and environmental studies. She’s continuing the research on how environmental conditions influence organic matter processing across Mount St. Helens watersheds. She works jointly with Maddie in assessing condensed tannin’s and Willow DNA extractions.

Stay tuned… Iris, Angie, Maddie and Lauren plan to attend and present at the 2020 Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting!