Description This is a photograph of a plant called Pitchers thistle that is on the brink of becoming endangered. This seed head is in its final stage of development, dispersing seeds like a dandelion. The species plays an important role in the sand dune ecosystems around the Great Lakes.Habitat destruction (by humans) and seed pillaging (by non-native weevils) are reducing the range and population of this species. Conservation biologists study the thistle and its growth cycle to inform conservation and restoration efforts for it and other endangered plants.
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.