Arnold Arboretum Senior Research Scientist and tropical biologist Cam Webb will be spending the next three years researching forest biodiversity in Indonesia, a collaboration with Sargent Fellow Sarah Mathews and senior Indonesian collaborator Teguh Triono. Join Cam and his colleagues as they collect plants, take photographs, and analyze molecular and ecological data gathered in research plots on five Indonesian islands. Examining hundreds of species of plants and their respective habitats will contribute to our understanding of how forests and the plants in them evolved and respond to current environmental pressures. Along the way, you will be introduced to fascinating organisms, encounter the full forces of nature, and meet the dedicated Indonesians who assist with the research efforts and protect these remarkable forests. This work is made possible through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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Forest first impressions

October 14, 2014 by Cam Webb

A forest view, with a young Livistona rotundifolia palm on right

We’re back in Kotamobagu for a weekend, further sampling the joys of this charming town, and catching up on email.  more »

Toraut forest

October 6, 2014 by Cam Webb

An inner view of undisturbed forest at 300 m elevation

Greetings from the the edge of the Sulawesi rain forest! I’m back on this blog after many months and we’ve started our fifth and final field trip of this NSF-funded research project.  more »

Sambal kemangi

March 31, 2014 by Cam Webb

Sambal kemangi

And now for something completely different! Sambals are the Indonesian chili-based condiments that accompany all good meals. They enliven a rice-heavy diet, sometimes to the extent that just rice and a good sambal feels like a complete meal. There are, as you would expect, thousand of sambal recipes. An important, recurring dish on our field trips has been Endro’s mind-blowingly spicy sambal brengsek, first introduced in 2011 on the Kalimantan trip.  more »

Birds of Flores lowland forest

March 28, 2014 by Cam Webb

Bare-throated Whistler

Live news: we’re out of the forest! The trip wrapped up very successfully, thanks to all the great support we have had from local government staff and villagers. On the last evening in Roang, we had another "kepok" (sorry, chickens!), and left by truck for Labuan Bajo.  more »

The forest at Wai Dongkong

March 11, 2014 by Cam Webb

A spectacular fig overhanging the river

Last week I completed the morphotyping of the 582 trees in the four 0.25-ha sample plots, and the collecting crew has nearly finished obtaining samples of the ca. 117 taxa we recorded there. All but about 10 of these taxa were collected by either using a 10 m aluminum pole with a clipper on the end, by climbing the trees, or by a combination of both.  more »

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