Field trip 2022

Text for this section was written by Jolanta Miadlikowska and Shannon Skarha.

In August 2022, we completed our first round of fieldwork for the NSF-funded project exploring the endophytic and endolichenic fungal communities of the Arctic. We sampled plants, lichens, and soil in Alaska, in the land of the Iñupiat people – Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow) area and along the Dalton Highway from Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay down to the Brooks Range.

Fieldwork near Utqiagvik, AK, 30 July 2022 (photo credit: Joszef Geml)

Sorting specimens at UIC facilities, Utqiagvik, AK, 30 July 2022 (photo credit: Betsy Arnold)

Our field team included: Betsy Arnold (PI) and Brooke Sykes (Ph.D. student) from the University of Arizona, Tucson; Barnabas Daru (PI) and Paul Markley (Ph.D. student) from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (moving to Stanford in Jan. 2023); François Lutzoni (PI), Shannon Skarha (Ph.D. student), and Jola Miadlikowska (Researcher) from Duke University; and Jozsef Geml (Researcher) from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eszterházy Károly University, Edger, Hungary. Our “Arctic Team” was joined by Nicolas Cassar (PI) and Perrin Hagge (Ph.D. student) from the Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University, who sampled moss and lichen thalli for their ongoing study on nitrogen fixation (part of Perrin’s doctoral dissertation).

Betsy Arnold and Brooke Sykes, 30 July 2022

Paul Markley and Barnabas Daru collect specimens in Alaskan tundra, 30 July 2022

Lab members Jola Miadlikowska, Shannon Skarha, and François Lutzoni visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, AK, 6 August 2022 (photo credit: Jozsef Geml)

Researcher Jozsef Geml, showing Saxifraga oppositifolia, 3 August 2022 (photo credit: Betsy Arnold)

Left to right: Nicolas Cassar, Perrin Hagge, and François Lutzoni collecting specimens

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) hang out near the Arctic Oilfield Hotel, Deadhorse, AK, 8 August 2022 (photo credit: Shannon Skarha)

Amazing landscape, stunning tundra, rich wildlife, and fascinating culture of Iñupiat people – an unforgettable experience! We all are very excited to reveal the fungal communities hidden within the sampled plant and lichen tissues of Alaska.

Mama Grizzly  (center bear) and two cubs (Ursus arctos) cross the Dalton Highway, 5 August 2022 (photo credit: Shannon Skarha)

Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) marks the end of summer, 6 August 2022 (photo credit: Betsy Arnold)

Monkshood (Aconitum delphiniifolium) highlight the beauty of Brooks Range, AK, 5 August 2022 (photo credit: Brooke Sykes)

Group field work near Utqiagvik, AK, 31 July 2022 (photo credit: Betsy Arnold)

Features of Utqiagvik’s whaling culture are prominent throughout the town, such as the skulls of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) displayed along the coast.

Arctic Ocean, Utqiagvik, AK


Group Picture at Utqiagvik Whale Bone Arch, 31 July 2022. Back row, left to right: Paul Markley, François Lutzoni, Jozsef Geml, Nicolas Cassar, and Betsy Arnold. Front row, left to right: Barnabas Daru, Jola Miadlikowska, Brooke Sykes, Shannon Skarha, and Perrin Hagge.