Preparing for ‘The Phenology Garden’
Bridging the Gap Between Climate Research and Community Education
The Meineke Lab
Learn more about the research Dr. Meineke and her team conduct to investigate plant-herbivore relationships and how they have changed over time as a result of human interaction.
In partnership with UC Davis' Department of Entomology and Nematology distinguished expert, Dr. Emily Meineke, our dedicated team of staff and volunteers is laying the groundwork for an exciting new garden. Just east of the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, an innovative research and educational haven is taking root—the Phenology Garden.
Not familiar with the term, phenology? Defined simply, it’s nature’s calendar, or the study of the timing of recurring natural events. This area of research helps us better understand how natural events are influenced by environmental factors, like climate change.
The main objective for the Phenology Garden will be to examine how alterations in water availability affect interactions between plants and herbivores, like insects. The design includes several plots equipped with differing irrigation treatments, simulating both past and future climate scenarios. This provides researchers with a chance to observe how our changing climate affects plant-herbivore dynamics.
When complete, this remarkable garden will serve as an educational hub for UC Davis students and the public alike. Our Learning by Leading™ students will help with the construction and maintenance of the garden and, together with other undergraduate and graduate students, participate in research, UC Davis Art-Science Fusion projects, and outreach activities – all with the ultimate aim of fostering a deeper understanding of plant and animal responses to climate change.
Preparations are only just beginning with the space being cleared, but we will keep you updated as additional changes take place. As the garden grows, so will our understanding of the intricate connections between plants and herbivores in the face of climate change. We hope you will join us on this vibrant journey into the world of science, art, and nature as well as an accessible sanctuary for research and education!