Category Archives: Research


Some of my first attempts to take some trendy macro photographs of various actions.  These are a couple of samples of macro photos I took of research in San Ramon.   Allison was usually in charge of releasing and calling out artificial leaves into the streams and Mike was timing the releases – thus, our two hand models.  I wish that I had played around with the depth of field a little more on these, but I still think they came out well.  It’s difficult to take this type of photograph in the field, particularly in a dark, canopy-covered stream bed.

Litter release - Rio Nai 4-4-2009 7-20-10 AM Litter release - Rio Nai 4-4-2009 7-20-53 AM

The Thalia moth returns

The moth caterpillar that consumed much of the Thalia geniculata in the Catalina sector has come to the Palo Verde sector.  I need to develop this…

On the edges of the broad leaves of the Thalia, small folded over 'tents' are visible.

A close up the of the 'tents' that house the caterpillars.

Some out of focus eggs, both hatched and un-hatched.

A caterpillar I removed from his hiding place...

Sorting macroinvertebrates

For the past few days, I have been sorting and identifying macroinvertebrates from some samples collected from the decomposition bags.  Doing so made me appreciate lugging a microscope to Costa Rica, since the scopes here are horrendous.  The dishes pictured here contain macroinvertebrates, mostly insect larva, that I’ve sorted to family.

I don’t like being in the lab.

Macroinvertebrate sorting - 07.04.2009 - 11.54.09

Bundles on a rope

Decomposition bundles on a string - 06.25.2009 - 08.35.10

Decomposition bundles on a string - 06.25.2009 - 08.35.34
One of the decomposition bundles with hyacinth and a plastic label... which hopefully won't disapear.

Decomposition bundles on a string - 06.25.2009 - 08.36.05
A string of several bundles, each string has six bundles attached with zip-ties.

Decomposition bundles on a string - 06.25.2009 - 08.36.28
Another photo of the experimental set-up. You may notice more water.

I placed little bundles of dead Eichhornia and Neptunia on a string and then attached the strings to my competition enclosures.  This will allow me to estimate decomposition of these two plants in artificial mats that vary in the density of the two plant species.

You might notice that the water is getting deeper – it’s over the first barb wire, which makes it difficult to slide through the fence.  I may yet have to construct a door…