Bucknell University

Department of Biology

1 Dent Drive

Lewisburg, PA 17837


Welcome to my blog.


I use this space to post short updates about my work and the like. If there's anything you'd like to see or ask me about, feel free to leave a comment here. You can also tweet me @angelajmcd.

By Angela, Oct 29 2016 10:45PM

My research has progressed to be mostly data analysis, figure making, and writing. This really is a good thing, but I've developed a serious itch to get outside and collect some plants. It wasn't too possible over the summer, as I was busy with meetings and presentations. Luckly, earlier this fall semester I came into contact with Dr. Dave Lemke at Texas State University in San Marcos, who had found a population of a rare species, Matelea atrostellata (Rintz) in the Christmas Mountains. This area is private land plopped in the middle of Terlingua Ranch, north of Big Bend National Park. So we met up with Dr. Lemke and his field assistant, a giant golden retriever named Buzzard, at the cabins on the Terlingua Ranch Lodge (which is a GREAT place to stay in West TX!) and spent a few days botanizing.

We visited the Christmas Mountains and saw M. atrostellata in a dry wash area, mostly on the north-facing sides. It was really a privilege to see it, as it is one of the few species of Matelea in TX that I had yet to see in person. Afterwards, we drove to the one of the peaks in the Christmas Mountains and hung out there for a while to take in the vast expanse of Chihuahuan desert. It was pretty spectacular.

The following day we visited a few other sites and ended the day by hiking the Window Trail at the National Park. It was pretty hot for October (~85F), but the stream along the last part of the trail was flowing and it was a really amazing hike. Lots of plants were in full flower, including Matelea reticulata, or the pearl milkvine.

It was a good little 3 day break from the grind and really served as a reminder to me of how lucky I've been to meet and get to know a lot of different places and people while I've been at OSU. I have a lot to be thankful for and so much to look forward to.

Back to work. :)


By Angela, Aug 8 2016 05:37PM

I'm finally adding the capacity for a blogging function to my site. I've been hesitant to do so because I'm not sure if I'll post very often. I like the idea of posting semi-regularly to a site where I can share information about my work and keep a little log to look back on, but I am a little hesitant to add to my to-do list and to (someday, inevitably) lag behind on maintaining it. Fears of a stale blog aside, here I go! I'd like my blog to be about my research, my career path/job searching, and maybe a little about other science-y topics.

So far, 2016 has been a really fun and productive year for me. I'm busy bringing the components of my dissertation together and am starting to see a light near the end of my PhD tunnel! More on that later.

A few days ago, I returned from the annual Botany meeting in Savannah, GA. It was so great to catch up with some people I've met over the years. I also attended Evolution in June in Austin, TX. I was pretty nervous to attend and present my work at both meetings, but I am happy to report that the meetings went well! (Note to future self: conferences always turn out to be a blast, so you should always go if you can and try not to be nervous.) The inspiration and knowledge I gathered this summer will definitely keep me on track and help me finish strong, so to speak.

Speaking of finishing strong, the Rio Olympics are in full swing. I watched part of the women's road cycling race yesterday. It looked grueling for the athletes, and I was pretty sad that the American who held the lead for a good portion of the last leg of the race lost in the end. Aside from the race itself, the cyclists rode through some densely vegetated areas that I longed to botanize. I can't wait to botanize in Brazil someday. Isn't that one of every botanists' dreams?

More later.