But what about the tribulus? If finches are happily munching on precious seeds the tribulus need to reproduce, how might tribulus be adapting and evolving to this selective pressure? Well, the cool thing is that's what we're about to explore! This year, collaborators, along with Sofia, arrived in the Galapagos to ask exactly this question.
Marc Johnson from U of Toronto arrived and we took him to El Garrapatero, where we knew that there (1) were tribulus and (2) finches were feeding on tribulus. It was a perfect field sampling day where we sampled many tribulus seeds and observed finches eating tribulus.
We even squeezed in a little bit of time at the beach to enjoy the wonders of Galápagos at the beach!
Perhaps most importantly, Ollie and Dolphin (don't know the name) made friends with my cat, and they seemed to be having a lovely time on the beach while helping my cat with a little bit of research.
Once back from a lovely time in the field, it was back to work. Several hundred tribulus seeds needed to be laid out, measured, and documented for an experiment, and this took the rest of the afternoon (and the part of the next day). Thankfully, all you need is time and beer to accomplish these kinds of tasks.
|The start of organizing tribulus seeds|
|Done sorting! Sofia poses with the tribulus seeds she will soon start measuring.|
|Sofia well into measuring tribulus seeds.|
|Sofia prepping her tribulus samples|