Fieldwork in the Scottish Highlands

Cladonia near a club-moss

Our lab is pursuing a global study on Cladonia stellaris (and other reindeer lichens) to expand our sampling from Eastern Canada and unravel the systematics and dispersal patterns of this charismatic lichen, our national lichen. A sampling campaign has already started in Europe, beginning in the Scottish Highlands.

We also collected the woolly fringe moss, Racomitrium lanuginosum, as part of the ongoing doctoral project by Dennis Escolástico-Ortiz on the population genomics and functional microbial ecology of this important moss. This moss forms large carpets in alpine and arctic habitats and it’s in slow decline in Europe.  I came across this colony of the woolly fringe moss as a nesting site for ants in the Scottish highlands.

Dennis will be traveling to Bonn, to work on genome skimming – using PacBio- of R. lanuginosum across its distribution.


More exciting news are coming! Stay tuned!