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For the Love of Rhododendron

Episode 12 - As soon as the sunrays hit

In this episode Juliana and Ryan meet Dr. Shweta Basnett, who shares stories from her Ph.D. work on the pollination biology of Rhododendron in Sikkim Himalaya. We learn how she left her bed well-before dawn to trek up a mountainside and survey many different Rhododendron species and their pollinators, including sunbirds who start drinking the nectar as soon as the sunrays hit the ground, and how the difficult task of climbing a mountain day after day led to stunning views and a chance to expand from local to global her Rhododendron studies as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland. Thus, illustrating the words of author William Arthur Ward, "Opportunities are like sunrises, if you wait too long, you'll miss them."

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Explore the links below to learn more about topics mentioned in this episode:

Himalaya Mountains Dr. Basnett's research publications

Flowering of R. anthopogon at 4000m Basnett's Uni. of Maryland profile

Flowering of R wightii at 4100m Fulbright Fellow Page

Subalpine rhododendron forests Ashoka Trust for Research in
Ecology and the Environment

Flowers of R. grande Rhododendrons of Sikkim by
Joseph Dalton Hooker

Flowers of R. falconeri Birds of Sikkim including sunbirds


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