Many changes

This winter 23-24 was full of surprise. 

First of all we have to announce that Mawell has started his career as a new PhD student in our group. After accomplishing his master project last summer and having worked as a research assistant last autumn, Max has not waited long before embarking on this new exciting adventure. Good luck Max! 

Let’s shift our attention to someone else now: we must congratulate Eugénie for discussing his doctoral thesis at the end of February, with an excellent presentation she was able to transport us all on a journey to discover the influence of species diversity on tree water relations under warmer and drier climates. Thank you Eugénie, and again ‘bravo’ for your great work!

In February two members of our team left for a few months to Tasmania, but they will come back as soon as the summer arrives.  

At the end of 2023, Thibaut received the Ph.D. Mobility Award from EDCE allowing him to plan a trip to the University of Tasmania (UTAS, Australia) for three months (the doctoral mobility is an important milestone during the work of a doctoral student). Since February, he has been hosted by Prof. Tim Brodribb and his team of plant hydraulics specialists. Thibaut is learning how to measure the drought resistance of palm trees with cameras that continuously track hydraulic traits, such as leaf and stem vessel embolisms (air bubbles caused by drought) and water potentials (a measure of plant water stress). Ultimately, Thibaut will use this non-destructive technique to assess the soil drought resistance of native and non-native plants next summer, back at EPFL.

In addition to Tim Brodribb’s laboratory members, Thibaut can also count on Kate, who is also visiting her former university (for 6 weeks) to continue her studies of freeze-induced embolism and learn the new ‘dendrometry’ function of the cameras In May 2024, Ph.D. student Katya Bandow of Tim Brodribb’s laboratory (who is also co-supervised by Kate) will reciprocally travel from UTAS to EPFL, continuing the connection between our laboratories.