Welcome to the Echinacea Project website!

This site contains information about our research, including an overview of the Echinacea Project. If you have any additional questions, feel free to visit our personal webpages or contact us.

New graduate! On 15 March 2011 Christine Dumoulin defended her Master's Thesis in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University. Congratulations! For her thesis project, Christine developed a computer simulation model to investigate how dominance relationships among S-alleles influence mate availability and reproduction in small populations. Christine is already pursuing her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee.

New paper! 11 Jan 2011 In January an Echinacea Project paper was published: Diersen, G. T. 2011. Team Echinacea & construction of a key using online images of fresh prairie plant pollen. The American Biology Teacher 73:35-38. PDF

New paper! 11 Jan 2011. An Echinacea Project paper was accepted for publication in Restoration Ecology: Wagenius, S., A. Dykstra, C.E. Ridley, R.G. Shaw. 2010. Seedling recruitment in the long-lived perennial, Echinacea angustifolia: a ten year experiment. Restoration Ecology.

Summer internships: We are no longer accepting applications for field research positions for summer 2011. Please consider us for summer 2012--we'll post information on how to apply by Jan 1, 2012. Our opportunities page lists other opportunities.

Continued funding! In early December, NSF informed us that the Echinacea Project will be funded from April 2011 - April 2016!

21 September 2010. Jennifer Ison defended her dissertation with flying colors on Friday and gave a great public seminar to a packed house at UIC on Tuesday. Her dissertation title is "Pollination of Echinacea angustifolia: effects of flowering phenology and spatial isolation." Jennifer started with the Echinacea Project in 2003, right after graduating from St. Olaf College. She is heading to a post-doc position with Art Weis in Toronto, starting 1 October.

New species of aphid! Back in 2004 we collected some of the aphids that are prevalent on our Echinacea plants. We sent them out to get identified. The closest id anyone came up with was a root-feeding aphid, but it didn't quite match. We thought that id was strange too, because they were feeding on stems, leaves, and heads. Eventually, our specimens ended up with aphid experts Doris Lagos and David Voegtlin at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Natural History Survey. They identified our specimens as a new species and named it Aphis echinaceae. Doris just sent a pdf of the paper. Thanks!

On 26 March an Echinacea Project paper was published: Wagenius, S., and S. P. Lyon. 2010. Reproduction of Echinacea angustifolia in fragmented prairie is pollen-limited but not pollinator-limited. Ecology 91:733-742. Abstract | PDF | Supplemental Material

An Echinacea Project paper was just published: Wagenius, S., H. H. Hangelbroek, C. E. Ridley, and R. G. Shaw. 2010. Biparental inbreeding and interremnant mating in a perennial prairie plant: fitness consequences for progeny in their first eight years. Evolution 64:761-771. Abstract | Email Stuart for a reprint.

The deadline for applying for an NSF-funded summer 2011 research experience for teachers has passed. Please contact us by 25 November 2011 if you are interested in doing field research with us during summer 2012. Read more.

We posted photos of prairie insect specimens from our collection, including many bees that pollinate Echinacea. There are more to come, but we wanted to share what we have available!

An Echinacea Project paper published last year was awarded the Presidential Award by the American Society of Naturalists. This award is for the best paper published in The American Naturalist during 2008. The award was announced at the annual Evolution meeting in June 2009.

Check out our field blog to read what we were up to during the last field season. Read about our many research endeavors during summer 2007 and our seedling growth experiments in spring 2006.