Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Send Lorna your sedges!

Large Yellow Sedge Carex flava
 is part of the SEM study
An early career botanist ,whose research plans have been thrown into disarray by Covid-19 restrictions, needs your help. Please take a moment to read Lorna's request below and see if you're able to come to her aid. 

Over to Lorna:

"Hi everyone, firstly let me introduce myself. My name is Lorna Halliwell and I’m a Masters by Research (MRes) student at Edge Hill University. 

"Some of you may have met me in 2018 when the BSBI Exhibition Meeting was held at Edge Hill. I was the student who was demonstrating the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). So, now that you know who I am, let me get to the point of the blog!

"For my MRes dissertation I’m using the SEM to look at sedges and particularly the utricles of Carex species. Unfortunately, due to the current situation with Covid-19 my plans have been thrown into utter chaos! 

Scanning electron micrograph of the
utricle of Long-bracted Sedge C. extensa 
Initially, I had planned to visit herbaria across the country to collect samples, however I have no idea when they will reopen to research students (and I’ve been told it could even be months still before they let people back in). 

"So, after speaking to my supervisor, Professor Paul Ashton and Dr. Mary Dean, they have suggested I use social media and reach out to the “Carex-o-phile” community to ask for help!

"So, this is my plea! If you could please collect utricles from any UK based Carex species. They can be from cultivated, garden varieties or from species found anywhere in the country. Ideally, what I would like is 5-10 mature utricles from each plant and, if possible, from 3 different plants.

Lorna with the SEM
at Edge Hill University
"If you are able to collect some samples, please could you place the utricles from each plant into separate envelopes and label them with the species, location collected (with OS Grid references or GPS location, if possible), the date collected and your name. 

"If you can help out and gather samples, please could you send them to the following address (with a note saying they are for the attention of Lorna Halliwell):
c/o Gabriel Dixon, 
BioSciences Department, 
Edge Hill University, 
St Helens Road, 
Ormskirk, 
L39 4QP.

"If anyone can collect samples, I would be incredibly grateful to you! Stay safe and if you would like any further information not covered in this blog, feel free to email myself at lorna.halliwell@go.edgehill.ac.uk."

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