Carnegie's Climate Change Evolution Experiments
In 2021, we have launched a new field station on Stanford campus that can host 30,000 Arabidopsis thaliana pots. This station has 27 sections distributed in 9 rows x 3 segments equipped with a sprinkler systems that are independently programmed to simulate rainfall patterns. Our aim is to test the ability of genetically-distinct A. thaliana populations to withstand different climate pressures of increasing reduced abundance and increased stochasticity of precipitation.
This experiment was inspired by the legendary Carnegie common gardens by Clausen Keck and Hiesey (1941 Am Nat) in the same location on campus and the Global Change Experiments led by Chris Field at Jasper Ridge.
Timeline of our experimental setup
First thing was to build a field site that could harbor many thousands of Arabidopsis thaliana
Laura Leventhal selecting seeds among the 1001 Genomes of Arabidopsis and LOTS of organizations and planning!
Here a picture with Laura planning in fall 2021 the tasks needed and timeline
Count count count
Bag bag bag
Randomize randomize randomize
and once you are done, more aliquoting!!!
Next was field preparation, there was a lot of soil to put in the ground!
The field required control of precipitation, for which computational postdoc Lucas Czech revealed he is a skillful carpenter, and built fantastic rainout shelters!
Sowing day in Nov 2021 we planted 24,000 tubes of A. thaliana with the help of 42 volunteers from campus, Carnegie Plants/GlobalEcology, Stanford Biology/Medicine, and Japer Ridge Preserve. All was possible thanks to this amazing community 🙏
Backstage Moi taking pictures of everyone from the Global Ecology building (left) and a chair (right)
After a few weeks, we got seedlings!
And lots of plants with different colors during flowering time. Lots to count again!
Lots of work, but the field gave us marvelous views daily!
The final stage was to check what genotypes survived and how many fruits they managed to produce (i.e. fitness!)
On Laura's birthday an unexpected tray appeared in the field! it was very tasty!
More counting! more counting!
Final celebration in June of the last fruits counted!
End of Spring BBQ celebration in Moi's backyard! (we missed Tati, Lucas, Ken in the picture!)
 Exposito-Alonso et al. 2019 Nature, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1520-9