We're less than a week away from our second 2017 bioblitz so now's the time to show off all the work UC students have been doing. Our first 2017 bioblitz was with an iMicrobiologist class visiting Sedgewick Reserve (about 5 hours North of Los Angeles). There, they teamed up with graduate student Gaurav Kandlikar to collect samples from experimental field plots where different combinations of plants are growing. This way, we can understand how plants might interact through utilizing the soil microbiome to influence the growth, and ultimately, the survival, of their neighbors. Gaurav has been doing eDNA research training with us since the start of the Winter quarter and we're really excited to see how he's applying the eDNA techniques to his own research and sharing his research with students who are budding their own questions about nature from it!
Meet Gaurav, PhD student at UCLA.
Gaurav grew up with a deep love for animal and plant diversity in the forests of the Western Ghats of India, which has developed into a fascination with the drivers of biodiversity generation and maintenance. He is currently working on describing the environmental and physiological diversity of species coexistence in a California annual plant community for his PhD research with Dr. Nathan Kraft. With the UC Conservation Genomics Consortium, he is characterizing the soil microbial community across experimental plots in the UC-Sedgwick Reserve to ask whether variation in soil microbial communities might interact with physical and chemical environmental properties to influence plant performance and species interactions. After his graduate work, Gaurav hopes to continue teaching and conducting biodiversity research in South- and South-East Asian forests.
Gaurav's iNaturalist page: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5047188
His Twitter: @integralprotein