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EcoBloggers is a feed of ecology blogs aggregated from around the web. If you write an Ecology blog (made up primarily of original posts by you or contributors), and you'd like to have it included here, email the feed link to the site webmaster. Each contributed post is trimmed to stay on the right side of copyright law and to encourage readers to click through to contributors' sites. You can get the RSS feed here. Each post is also automatically tweeted by @EcoBloggers.
  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    3 weeks 5 days ago

    Not all that much. You do need to do a bit of customization for each broad class of institutions to which you’re applying, but you don’t need to heavily customize your application for each individual institution. For details, read on.

    Here’s how much customization I did, back when I was applying for faculty jobs regularly. I’ve been around a while and I’ve sat on search committees and spoken to colleagues, so I’m confident that what I did was, and remains, common in ecology. But please do chime in with your own comments.

    I was applying to two types of institutions: research universities (mostly R1s and R2s), and selective liberal arts colleges. I used the same cv for both, but I had slightly different versions of the research and teaching statements and cover letter for each type of institution. I did little customization for individual institutions.

    • My teaching statement for liberal arts colleges didn...
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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    3 weeks 5 days ago

    If you’ve ever looked at the ecoevojobs.net faculty jobs board, you’ve probably seen speculation that position X has an internal candidate, the implication being that others maybe shouldn’t bother applying because the internal candidate will have an edge or even be a shoo-in. Sometimes, the speculation is not merely that a strong internal candidate exists, but that the position is intended for the internal candidate, so that the entire search is a formality with a pre-determined outcome.

    But internal candidates have factors working against them as well as for them. As illustrated by the fact that they don’t always get the job–even when they’re confident they will! For instance, see here,...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    4 weeks 23 hours ago

    My paper on last and corresponding authorship appeared in the journal Ecology & Evolution today. Normally I don’t plug my papers on the blog, but this one is different: this paper arose out of a poll and a series of blog posts on the site, so it seems appropriate to wrap things up with a quick post today.

    I suppose it’s actually not quite accurate to say the paper arose out of a poll. Before that, I had a tweet storm as I thought through issues, and that, in turn, was motivated by needing to decide on author order for a manuscript. When I was at Georgia Tech, I was told that I should be last author on all papers coming out of my lab as a sign of having driven the work. But I have a paper from work I did as a grad student where I am the last author (with my advisor as a middle author) because I did the least work on the...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 25 min ago

    A while back we invited you to ask us anything. Here are our answers to our next two questions, from “lb”:

    1. How do you make a good journal club for people working on different topics, ranging from social insects to plants?
    2. What’s one question or idea you’ve always wanted to investigate but haven’t?

    Jeremy’s answers:

    1. I suggest not reading technical papers about the topics the group members are working on. Instead read papers and blog posts about cross-cutting topics in which all group members are interested. The “replication crisis”, for instance, or how to write an “elevator pitch“. Or ...
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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 1 day ago

    A while back we invited you to ask us anything. Here are our answers to our next question, from an anonymous commenter: What do you do if your advisor has ongoing conflicts with other senior people in your field? Conflicts that you worry might limit your postdoctoral opportunities, and result in overly-negative reviews of papers co-authored with your advisor.

    Brian: This happens. There are people with that kind of demeanor and reputation out there. And they do have graduate students. I guess my thoughts are:

    1. Its more of a mixed bag than you think. If your adviser is in that much conflict, it probably means that they are at least a “big name” and that has lots of benefits to you even if people don’t personally like that “big name”. You will be exposed to many opportunities and many will by default assume you know how to do good science. You may get some harsher reviews but you might also get reviewed at a...
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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 1 day ago

    Something I’ve been interested in is student views on ecology, evolutionary biology, and genetics, including how much math they think is involved in the different disciplines. I’ve surveyed my Intro Bio students to get their views, and realized it would be interesting to compare it to what ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and geneticists think. Hence this poll! The poll is brief, but I’m doing it in google forms so I can do the cross tabs.

    Here’s the link to the poll in case the embedding doesn’t work. The embedded poll is below the break.

     


    Filed under: Poll, Process of science, ... Read the full article.
  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 3 days ago

    Years ago we did a series of guest posts on non-academic* careers for ecologists, operationally defined as people with graduate degrees in ecology or an allied field. We want to revive it, and already have one guest post in the works, but we want more. Are you someone with a graduate degree in ecology who now works in something other than academic ecology, or do you know someone who fits that description? You (or whoever it is you know) should write a post for us about it!

    It’s easy. Just email me (jefox@ucalgary.ca) the answers to the following questions:

    1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you, what sort of ecology did you do in grad school, and what do you do now? (aside: we can make you anonymous to readers, but I need to know who you are)
    2. How did you get into your current career?
    3. Tell us a bit about your current position...
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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 5 days ago

    Ethical norms change over time. What once was widely regarded as wrong can come to be regarded as acceptable, admirable, or even obligatory. And what was one widely regarded as acceptable, admirable, or even obligatory can come to be regarded as wrong. Norms can change so much that it becomes difficult to imagine how the old norms could ever have been seen as ok.

    Hence my question: what currently widespread norms regarding the proper conduct or teaching of science will change dramatically in the next few decades?

    That’s an interesting timescale to consider because it’s roughly the timescale for complete turnover of the scientific community. It’s the amount of time needed for every current scientist to be replaced by a new one, and so it’s the timescale on which norms can change even if nobody ever changes their mind as to what’s ethical. Of course, norms can change much faster if people change their minds about them.

    Data...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 6 days ago

    A while back, we invited you to ask us anything. Here are our answers to our next three interrelated questions, from Jeff Hean plus a related fourth question from Andy Park:

    1. Why are biologists paid so little compared to other fields of science and the private sector?
    2. Why do the majority of advertised research positions, particularly in N. America and Europe, seem to require a modeling component these days? Especially when so much baseline empirical data still needs to be collected?
    3. In my personal experience, field biologists don’t make good modelers, and vice-versa. Do field biologists still have a place in ecology, in light of the high demand for young scientists...
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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 month 1 week ago

    Many academic fields are staffed by a gender-biased mix of faculty (male-biased overall, though the magnitude and even the direction of the bias varies among fields). In order for that to change, new hiring has to be more diverse than past hiring. How diverse are new faculty hires in ecology? Good question–comprehensive data on the gender balance of recent faculty hires is lacking for most academic fields. And personal anecdotes and experiences provide only a very small sample. Every year there are hundreds of faculty hired in ecology and allied fields, but nobody hears through the grapevine about the outcomes of more than a small fraction of those hires.

    So as I did last year, this year I’m once again compiling data on the gender balance of recently-hired tenure-track faculty in ecology and allied fields at North American...

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