Field Work

Collecting seagrasses off the coast of Magnetic Island, Australia
More seagrass collecting along Australia's southern coast
This southern USA cypress swamp supports a rich diversity of aquatic plants
A tropical pool in NW Queensland, Australia
I gather some Zostera from a muddy shore in NE Australia
     Fieldwork can be one of the most rewarding (but also among the most trying) aspects of aquatic plant research.  My field work has taken me to most parts of North America and also to Australia, Europe, and Mexico.  A nice thing about aquatic plants is that many species are cosmopolitan in their distribution, so there are plenty of reasons to travel when you conduct research in this area.  Many localities (such as those pictured above) provide extraordinary scenery.  However, field work does involve very long hours and tedious sample processing as well.  Be prepared to get hot, wet, muddy and to avoid getting eaten by crocodiles.
    It might surprise you to learn that unlike most flowering plants, the greatest diversity of aquatic plants is not in the tropics, but in temperate regions.  In fact, the northeastern United States represents one of the highest areas of aquatic plant diversity worldwide.  At least in the United States, aquatic communities generally are much better preserved in northern areas where many pristine habitats still exist.