Vorbiți românește? (Do you speak Romanian?)

Vorbiți românește? (Do you speak Romanian?) MicroPlants does now!

Thanks to our MicroPlants collaborators we will be running versions of the site in English, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, and about to launch in ROMANIAN!

You can switch between languages on the upper right hand corner of the page!



News from the MicroPlants Desk!

We did it! We did it! The MicroPlants team and other Field Museum researchers published “Unlocking collections: New records of Lepidoziaceae (Marchantiophyta) for the islands of Fiji” in Telopea Journal of Plant Systematics

Congrats team!

Read it here: http://goo.gl/CI7jiN

Educating mini Bryologists

We always have a great time at Meet a Scientist every Friday at The Field Museum!

MicroPlant team members Lauren and Brendon show young Bryologists how to measure on the website and explaining how they are really contributing to science!

How do I benefit from participating?

Even through this short exercise, you have contributed to a global biodiversity research program and will have provided scientists with critically needed data to advance the identification and study of these important plants.

How does my involvement contribute to the project?

Scientist will use the data you collect to analyze, catalog and discover new species of early land plants, which are of great evolutionary and ecological significance.

What is the scientific significance of measuring a microleaf?

Just like you might be able to tell the difference between your older brother and younger sister from afar because one is taller than the other, we can distinguish between species based on particular defining characteristics. Microleaf size is just one of these characteristics.


MicroPlant Macgyvers

Drying Specimens adequately is a big problem when you’re out in the field. Watch what our MicroPlant Macgyvers build to dry their collections so they don’t mold!


We’ve learned about how we dry our collections, now how do we store them? The MicroPlants team keeps our specimen in a dry, temperature controlled area called an Herbarium. It’s a repository of preserved and labeled plant specimens arranged in such a way as to allow easy access and archival storage. After the plants are dried and stored in packets, they are filed first by Plant Phyla, then alphabetically by genus and kept until they are needed.

Did you know The Field Museum has one of the top 20 largest Herbariums in the world? We have over 3 million dried and pressed specimen!


Charlie and the Bryophyte Factory

We’re tumblr famous! Well sort of…

MicroPlants team member Charlie DeLavoi and our beloved Bryophytes were featured in Things on my Desk, a Field Museum dedicated blog written by Daniel Le. You can read it below, or the original here.

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Photo credit: Daniel Le dle@fieldmuseum.org

Charlie and the Bryophyte Factory

Charlie here has been working on this awesome project I totally stumbled upon while opening a lab for him recently.  He and Curator Dr. Matt Von Konrat have been working to try to bring bryophyte specimens back to life and so far it seems to be going well!

It all started when Canadian biologist Dr. Catherine La Farge published a study regarding the reviving of a 400 year old moss collected from Antarctica!
So Matt thought, why not try that with some of our specimens here!  These, however are more recently collected specimens from awesome places such as Fiji or New Caledonia, and this is meant to be a sort of test trial.  If this proves to be a productive experiment, this could potentially mean that we could bring back some of our more important specimens and study them as living organisms and not as evidence of once living things.

Right now, Charlie is watering them with glass distilled water and they are being housed in a fancy temperature and light controlled environment to see if they can’t be maintained stable.  Hopefully in a few weeks, these guys can be moved onto culture mediums to help them grow.

Environmentally Sustainable Fashion & Design

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Eco-friendly manufacturing is more than just a trend, it is a movement towards improving the way we design and produce merchandise with consideration to the environment and society as a whole. The principles of sustainable design include minimizing non-renewable energy consumption and eliminating the use of non-renewable resources while optimizing manufacturing, operational, and maintenance practices. Eco-friendly fashion is not about reviving the boho chic lifestyle, but rather a combination of modern style, fabric, and technology aimed to produce goods with little to no environmental impact. From the Green Carpet Challenge and the Green Cut to The Green Shows, high profile designers from around the world are creating affordable fashion for the average consumer out of materials like soy, cotton, bamboo, reed, lemongrass, and recycled products like plastic. It’s difficult to tell which brands are truly working towards helping the environment and those profiting from the eco-friendly bandwagon, so here’s a list of designers and labels following eco-conscious methods and saving the planet one sale at a time: Alabama Chanin, Awamaki Lab, Bourgeois Boheme, Carrie Perry, Delikate Rayne, Della, Doctor Couture, Elroy, Feral Childe, Kuyichi, Linda Loudermilk, M. Patmos, Martin + Osa, Matt & Nat, Moo Shoes, Nicora Johns, Study New York, Terra Plana, and Titania Inglis.

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Hand crafted jewelry, hats, and bags made from organic material…

Behind the scenes of the Economic Botany Dept at The Field Museum.

We’re back and ready to classify!

We’re back in Chicago and already hard at work to identify more MicroPlants for the project! Already inputting collection locations as well as taking a further look in the microscope!

On our website, microplants.fieldmuseum.org, some of our classified images have a map associated with exact coordinates of where we collected over the years. We have everything from New Caledonia, Fiji, Chile, New Zealand and now Borneo!IMG_20141009_091436

Day 14 in Borneo: Reminders in the Mountains.

“Today we made our way down slowly collecting on the way back to our base area at 1500m. On the way down we encountered many climbers making their way up to access the peak. Everyone was intrigued about this bunch of botanists, looking through small hand lens clinging to trees, or even up trees. They either thought we were totally mad and gave us plenty of space avoiding us, one person even asked if I was suffering from altitude sickness and if I was okay, to most people being intrigued in what we were doing. I was reminded by many that we have the coolest job in the world.”10698462_10152702598445606_5676520526599430491_n

Day 12 in Borneo: Finding everything we came for.

“I can report the first phase has been an outstanding success and we have collected everything we came looking for. The view, when it is not raining and cloudy is out of this world! It rains every day which makes collecting tiny plants that are already difficult to find a challenge. However, it generally rains in mid afternoon, and we have daily bets as to the exact time, I am currently in debt The walk up was amazing. Life at this elevation was a unique experience for me. With less oxygen, physical activity climbing at this elevation can be challenging. I woke up each day with what can only be best described as dehydrated and mild headaches.”

Juan and Matt Borneo

Dr. Matt von Konrat and Juan Larrain at  5°59’47″N   116°31’45″E