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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 ibartomeus from Marginally significant
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    1 month 2 days ago

    I just read this worrying paper summarizing a big problem we should all be aware: “Maintaining Scientific Integrity in a Climate of Perverse Incentives and Hypercompetition“.

    I don’t have a perfect solution to change the system for good, but I have an easy patch to help your integrity and the integrity of your group. And I say this because I am very conscious that I am (we all are) weak and when under pressure, the easier person to fool is yourself. This means, that even if you don’t want to cheat consciously, behaviors like p-hacking, ad hoc interpretations and not double checking results that fit your expectations are hard to avoid if you are on your own. So this is the patch: Don’t do things alone. You can fool yourself, but it’s harder to fool your team-mates. And as a corollary, don’t let your...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 3 days ago

    Note from Jeremy: this is a guest post from John DeLong of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the first in a planned series of three. Thanks for taking the time John!

    *******************

    A fresh take on canned labs

    Introductory science classes often have high enrollment, and so their associated labs must accommodate high student throughput. Not surprisingly, all of the introductory science labs I have taken and taught in my academic career have used canned labs. Students conduct activities or experiments with known outcomes, and by going through the activity and conducting an analysis, students ‘discover’ something we want them to know. As an instructor for the 200-level Ecology and Evolution class at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln for the last five years, I have tried to make sure our canned labs work reliably and generate the expected outcomes. Although...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 4 days ago

    This came up in a recent comment thread, and I decided it was interesting enough to post on. What’s the demographic profile of our commenters? How diverse are they, compared to our readership? And do the demographics of people who comment about our posts on Twitter differ from the demographics of the people who comment here? If so, is there any sign that that’s because some groups of people (students? women? people who disagree with our posts?) are more comfortable commenting on Twitter than in our comment threads?

    Attention conservation notice: navel-gazing post, probably of greatest interest to other bloggers.

    Last month, I went back through the most recent 200 non-trackback comments by someone other than Meghan, Brian, or me, and compiled the following data: commenter gender (m/f;...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    1 month 5 days ago

    What should departments do when running a grad student recruitment weekend — and what should they avoid?

    Many departments invite a gaggle of potential PhD students out for a big weekend. There are a few advantages for this approach. First of all, it allows the department to put on a big show to convince applicants to say “yes” when they get an offer, and the synergy of excited potential cohort-mates is helps. It’s easier on the department to focus recruitment visits on one weekend, rather than having people come our over the course of a few months. There are often more invitees than slots in the program, and so this allows PIs to comparison shop among students who have expressed an interest. On the downside this can also result in grad-school-hunger-games dynamic.

    What do I know about this, anyway? The last time I was involved in one of these was about 24 years ago. On the other hand, I get a lot of feedback from both sides, from my own...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 6 days ago

    Note from Jeremy: this is a guest post from Mark Vellend.

    Over the holiday break, my family logged about 2000 km in our gasoline-powered car, loaded with people, luggage, gifts, and ski equipment.  We do something like that four times per year, visiting family east and west.  “Love miles” people call them, and we feel guilty about the carbon emissions, but it’s far less starting from where we live now in Sherbrooke, Québec, than it would be with air travel from where we used to live in Vancouver, BC. And our second car is 100% electric, in a province with “clean” electricity.  So, in terms of our ecological footprint, it’s bad, but it could be worse.

    A couple times per year, I use air travel to go to professional meetings of one sort or another.  For 2-3 others I drive or take buses or trains.  I’m pretty sure the flights alone put me well above my yearly fair share of...

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  • via jeffollerton from Jeff Ollerton
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    1 month 6 days ago
  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    1 month 1 week ago

    Start the first day of class by telling your students an engaging story.

    The Biology Department of San Francisco State wrote a detailed academic paper about a successful department-wide professional development plan to improve their teaching.

    Scientific knowledge is drowning in a flood of research.

    This explanation about how people perceive probability is important for scientists to read, especially those of us teaching and interacting with the public: “I’ve come to realize that I was wrong about a major aspect of probabilities. They are inherently hard to grasp. That’s especially true for an...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 1 week ago

    Also this week: Stephen Heard vs. Paul Erdős, your PhD vs. you, and more.

    From Meghan:

    This “My writing day” piece by Jon McGregor is great. Here’s a brief part, but it’s hard to find just one quote that does the whole thing justice:

    There are other sorts of time, besides the writing time. There is thinking time, reading time, research time and sketching out ideas time. There is working on the first page over and over again until you find the tone you’re looking for time. There is spending just five minutes catching up on email time. There is spending five minutes more on Twitter because, in a way, that is part of the research process time. There is writing time, somewhere in there. There is making the coffee and clearing away the coffee and thinking about lunch and making the lunch and clearing away the lunch time.

    Not...

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  • via Chris Grieves from methods.blog (Methods in Ecology and Evolution)
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    1 month 1 week ago
    Issue 9.1 is now online! Our first issue of 2018, which includes our latest Special Feature – “Qualitative methods for eliciting judgements for decision making” – is now online! This new Special Feature is a collection of five articles (plus an Editorial from Guest Editors … Continue reading → Read the full article.
  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 1 week ago

    The Crafoord Prize is a Nobel-like award that goes to up to three biologists (with an “emphasis on ecology”), once every three years. It goes to people in other disciplines in other years. In practice, the biology award usually goes to an evolutionary biologist rather than an ecologist; more on that below. Anyway, the Crafoord Prize is one of the most prestigious and lucrative awards in biology; it’s worth over $700,000 USD at current exchange rates.

    The next Crafoord Prize will go to a biologist; nominations are due Jan. 15. I got a letter inviting me to submit a nomination (a “perk” of being a blogger, presumably), but anyone is allowed to do so. Who would you nominate?

    I’ve thought about it a bit and have a few candidates in mind. But I think it’ll be a more interesting conversation to talk about the thought process, rather than just listing...

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