Nishanta "Nishi" Rajakaruna

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Lab News

August 2018

  • Anthony Ferrero, Chris Howington, and Zach Raposo present their summer research at the Frost Undergraduate Research Symposium at the Dept. of Bio Sciences, Cal Poly
  • Former graduate student from San Jose State University, Teri Barry, is now the collections manager at the Center for Plant Diversity at UC Davis. Congratulations Teri!
  • Frost and Garden Club of America Scholar, Anthony Ferrero, and Professor Bob Boyd (Auburn University, AL) taking a break from field work in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. They are collecting seed of Streptanthus polygaloides, one of two known nickel hyperaccumulating plants in the US

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Anthony Ferrero and Bob Boyd on the hunt for Streptanthus polygaloides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2018

  • STAR Scholar joins the Geoecology Lab for the summer:
    Amber Williams is a 4th year Biological Sciences student concentrating in Ecology. She is working under Dr. Rajakaruna through the STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program, which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. This summer, she is working alongside undergraduate research student and Garden Club of America scholar Mary Devlin exploring the effects of nutrient enrichment in serpentine soils on native and non-native species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2018

May 2018

  • Hot off the press: Echevarria, G., A. J. M. Baker, R. S. Boyd, A. van der Ent, T. Mizuno, N. Rajakaruna, S. Sakaguchi, and A. Bani. 2018. A global forum on ultramafic ecosystems: from ultramafic ecology to rehabilitation of degraded environments. Ecological Research (PDF)
  • Lab members present their research at the Spring 2018 College of Science and Mathematics Student Research Conference at Cal Poly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Former Student Suzie Woolhouse’s photo makes it to the cover page of Molecular Ecology (May 2018). Her paper can be found here
  • Nishi gives a seminar at Sedgewick Preserve and co-leads a hike on serpentine (May 12)

April 2018

  • Congratulations to former undergraduate research students from College of the Atlantic, Luka Negoita (Graduate Student, Syracuse University) and Naveed Davoodian (Graduate Student, New York Botanic Garden/CUNY) for successfully defending their Ph.D. theses
  • Congratulations to Zach Raposo, Anthony Ferrero, Sam Farrow, and Chris Howington for being awarded a Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for 2018
  • Congratulations to Zach Raposo, Peter Walsh, Anthony Ferrero, and Sean Whitlock for being awarded a Biological Sciences Frost Undergraduate Research Award for Spring Quarter 2018!

March 2018

  • Paper Hot off the Press: Teptina, A., A. Paukov, and N. Rajakaruna2018. Ultramafic vegetation and soils in the circumboreal region of the Northern Hemisphere. Ecological Research (PDF)
  • Paper Accepted: Echevarria, G., A. J. M. Baker, R. S. Boyd, A. van der Ent, T. Mizuno, N. Rajakaruna, S. Sakaguchi, and A. Bani. 2018. A global forum on ultramafic ecosystems: from ultramafic ecology to rehabilitation of degraded environments. Ecological Research (in press)
  • Congratulations to Mary Devlin for winning a US Fish and Wildlife Service grant for rare plant research to conduct her study titled “The biology and ecology of Cirsium fontinale var. obispoense: Field, herbarium and greenhouse studies for better conservation and restoration practices.”
  • Congratulations to Paul Excoffier for winning a US Fish and Wildlife Service grant for rare plant research to conduct his study “Assessing the seed longevity of San Joaquin Woollythreads.”
  • Congratulations to Anthony Ferrero for winning a Garden Club of America, Field Botany Scholarship for his research on the ecology of Streptanthus polygaloides
  • Congratulations to Mary Devlin for winning a Garden Club of America, Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship for her upcoming research on native-nonnative plant interactions on serpentine soil under nutrient enrichment

February 2018

  • Paper accepted:  Kay, K.M., Woodhouse, S.^, Smith, B.A., Pope, N.**, and Rajakaruna, N. Sympatric serpentine endemic Monardella (Lamiaceae) species maintain habitat differences despite hybridization. Molecular Ecology (in press)
  • Paper Hot off the press: Favero Longo, S. E., E. Matteucci, P. Giordani, A. Paukov, and N. Rajakaruna. 2018. Diversity and functional traits of lichens in ultramafic areas: a literature-based worldwide analysis integrated by field data at the regional scale. Ecological Research (PDF)
  • Paper Hot off the press:  Ghasemi, R., H. Share, R. Sharifi, R. S. Boyd, N. Rajakaruna. 2018. Inducing Ni sensitivity in the Ni hyperaccumulator plant Alyssum inflatum Nyárády (Brassicaceae) by transforming with CAX1, a vacuolar membrane calcium transporter. Ecological Research (PDF)
  • Cal Poly Botany Faculty and Students attend CNPS 2018 meeting in Los Angeles, CA
  • Paper Accepted: Teptina, A., A. Paukov, and N. Rajakaruna2018. Ultramafic vegetation and soils in the circumboreal region of the Northern Hemisphere. Ecological Research (in press)
  • Paper HOT off the press: Medeiros, I. D., Mathieson, A. C., and N. Rajakaruna. 2017. Heavy Metals in Seaweeds from a Polluted Estuary in Coastal Maine. Rhodora (PDF)

January 2018

  • Congratulations to Sam Farrow for being awarded a Biological Sciences Frost Undergraduate Research Award for Winter Quarter 2018. Sam will conduct research on edaphic specialization in Layia and Lasthenia species
  • Paper Accepted: Favero Longo, S. E., E. Matteucci, P. Giordani, A. Paukov, and N. Rajakaruna. 2018. Diversity and functional traits of lichens in ultramafic areas: a literature-based worldwide analysis integrated by field data at the regional scale. Ecological Research (in press)
  • Paper Accepted: Ghasemi, R., H. Share, R. Sharifi, R. S. Boyd, N. Rajakaruna. 2018. Inducing Ni sensitivity in the Ni hyperaccumulator plant Alyssum inflatum Nyárády (Brassicaceae) by transforming with CAX1, a vacuolar membrane calcium transporter. Ecological Research (in press)

December 2017

  • Nishi presents a seminar on geobotany at the California Native Plant Society (San Luis Obispo Chapter) monthly meeting
  • Nishi co-leads a hike at Reservoir Canyon for California Native Plant Society (San Luis Obispo Chapter)

November 2017

  • Paper Accepted: Venter, A., S. J. Siebert, N. Rajakaruna, S. Barnard, A. Levanets, A. Ismail, M. Allam, B. Peterson, T. Sanko. 2017. Biological crusts of serpentine and non-serpentine soils from the Barberton Greenstone Belt of South Africa. Ecological Research (in press)
  • Paper Accepted: Siebert, S. J., Schutte, N. C., Bester, S. P., Komape, D. M., and N. Rajakaruna. 2017. Senecio conrathii N.E.Br. (Asteraceae), a new hyperaccumulator of nickel from serpentinite outcrops of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ecological Research (in press)

October 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lab members setting up permanent vegetation monitoring plots on burnt and unburnt, south and north facing slopes on serpentine and metavolcanic soils on Poly Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lab members visit Poly Canyon to explore post-fire disturbance. We will soon set up plots to monitor post-fire regeneration of plants found on serpentine and metavolcanic soils on burnt and unburnt areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lab visits Poly Canyon with former Geology Professor Dr. David Chipping

 

 

September 2017

  • Lab takes first field trip to Rinconada mine, an abandoned mercury mine within Los Padres National Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Paper accepted: Rajakaruna, N. Lessons on evolution from the study of edaphic specialization. The Botanical Review (in press)

August 2017

  • Paper Hot off the Press:  Urban, A. J., Mittelhauser, G. H., Dickinson, M., and N. Rajakaruna. 2017. The Alpine Vascular Plants of Baxter State Park, Maine, USA. Rhodora 119: 110-131.

 

For past lab news see here