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Seed dispersal and species distributions

Megan Szojka, a Masters student in the Biodiversity Research Centre, describes her research on how diversity is maintained within an ecosystem.

Hi, I'm Megan Szojka. I work in Rachel Germaine's lab as a Master's student in the Biodiversity Research Centre. I'm researching how dispersal between communities of rare plants affect species distributions, which is important for gene flow within these rare communities and to really understand how biodiversity is maintained.

My favourite research memory is a time where there was a forest fire actually scarily close to our field site, and what made me realize I was in the hands of a bunch of great researchers is everybody ran to get the usb data sticks, instead of their personal belongings.

My favourite organism is this little pincushion plant called Navarretia jepsonii. It's awesome because it only occurs on serpentine soils in California - so it has a tiny distribution, and I have a love-hate relationship with this plant from sitting on it too many times. It's an adorable plant because it's super spiky and at the same time has beautiful purple flowers that pop up everywhere making them look like little purple "Horton Hears a Who" things!

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