Protea obtusifolia in the De Hoop Nature Reserve,Western Cape,
Photograph by Kent Holsinger
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So if you want to see what the Protea team is up to while I'm in the field, you can either follow me on Twitter (@keholsinger) or follow the #dimensionsZA hashtag.
Our work isn't organized the same way as it was last year. Last year we had a community team based in Baviaanskloof, and the Protea and Pelargonium teams traveled and worked together the whole time we were in the field. This year the ecology team is sampling community diversity at several different sites in the western Cape, the Protea team is collecting both Protea and Pelargonium in Mpalunga and Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as collecting detailed trait data on some species we've studied before in the Kogelberg and De Hoop.
There will be two different Pelargonium teams. One will collect detailed trait data similar to what we'll be collecting in the Kogelberg and De Hoop. Late in July, we'll overlap with them for a few days in Kogelberg. The other team will be traveling through parts of the Western Cape and Northern Cape collecting species of Pelargonium that they weren't able to collect last year. Another Pelargonium team will return in late October and early November to collect taxa in the Eastern Cape, and one of the post-docs will stay in South Africa until then collecting additional data from the populations targeted for detailed trait measurements this July and August.2
1I won't make it to De Hoop this year. I'll be gone for a little more than a month as it is, so I'll have to leave after we finish our work in the Kogelberg.
2The “Protea” post-doc,Jane Carlson, will be starting a new job as an assistant professor at Nicholls State University in mid-August. I will greatly miss having her around. She's been a vital part of my professional life for the last four years, but we plan to keep collaborating. Or at least I plan to keep collaborating as long as she's willing to put up with me.