The George Mercer Award is given annually by the ESA to an outstanding research paper published in the previous two years (so, 2015 or 2016 for this year’s award) with a lead author age 40 or younger at the time of publication. The age limit is in memory of George Mercer, a promising young ecologist who was killed in WW II.
I love awards like the Mercer Award. It’s great that the ESA recognizes outstanding work being done by up-and-coming ecologists. And thinking about potential nominees is a fun excuse to think about what makes for truly outstanding ecological research today. This would be a great topic for your next lab meeting: ask everyone suggest a nominee for the Mercer Award and then talk about them.
I have an old post looking back on past Mercer Award winners to look for common threads (more specific than...Read the full article.
Also this week: sympathy cards for scientists, Pixar movies vs. your next talk, journal of critiques?, reviewing the literature on double-blind review, and more
At Methods Blog, Bob O’Hara reviews the evidence on the effects of double-blind review. Comes to broadly the same conclusions as another review I’ve linked to in the past, by Hilda Bastian. The main take homes, from both reviews combined:
Preface: This post is a bit different than a typical post for me (or any of us here at DE!) It relates to an interesting bit of Daphnia biology that I find myself relating a lot when I talk to people more generally about my research. People seem to find it surprising and interesting, so I decided to write a post on it in the hopes that others find it interesting, too.
If I put a bunch of different Daphnia on a microscope in front of you, you’d probably think they all look pretty much the same.* As an example, when keying out the species I’ve done the most work on, Daphnia dentifera**, using the excellent online Haney et al. key, these are two of the first traits you need to focus on:Read the full article.
I’ve been bouncing this blog post idea around for a bit. It definitely is not for everyone and I want to address that right off. Graduate student stipends are so varied even within a single university. Not everyone can afford to live on a grad student stipend alone. Not everyone can afford to spend money on some of the items I’m suggesting in this post. Loads of graduate students are still paying off loans from undergrad, or even accruing more as they study. I can’t address everyone’s financial status in one post. But I am privileged enough to be able to scrape together enough to afford some of the following every so often and have found that they can be a great help in regard to time and stress. And what graduate student wouldn’t want more time and less stress?
Several of the links in this post include referral links from the author.
I was pretty hesitant about jumping on the Amazon Prime...Read the full article.
Wehey! We’re a month into 2016, is it looking bright? Did all your Januarys stay dry? Are you holding strong at the top of your Fit Bit leaderboard? If so, congratulations, cos you’re staying strong through the hardest part of the year – the bit where the joys of Christmas like mince pies and mulled wine have been culturally removed from us, but the mornings are still as dark and drizzly as Robert Plant’s cover of Hey Joe.
Environmentally we’ve been off to a hell of a start, with an almost immediate go-ahead to build on last-year’s governmental damnation of bees, which makes as little sense now as it did last summer. But moreover, ‘we’ as a nation made some big pledges last year before Christmas, as all...Read the full article.
Where just last week what has been hailed as one of the most monumental global agreements in history was made… but we maybe can’t relax just yet.
COP 21 is now concluded &, it would seem, the fate of our planet decided. By and large, people seem happy that we have achieved what was set out to do: To agree to a less than 2ºC temperature rise (above pre-industrial levels), by reducing our emissions, phasing out fossil fuels, wealthy, developed nations giving $100Billion to developing nations by 2020 to help them do that, and the nice establishment of a 5-year-review where everyone can get together to see how we’re doing. Hurrah!
Main-stream media seems very...Read the full article.
I’m involved in a Plenary Workshop this year, organized by some great folks at UNC-Chapel Hill. I’m privileged to have been asked by these students, al of whom are currently Ph.D candidates. They’ve taken a great idea and turned it into something that will be an excellent Plenary Session, with some (hopefully) long lasting impact. Given the subject (the future of interdisciplinary ecology) it’s also perfectly well suited to the centennial ESA meeting. They’ve just posted this to ECOLOG so I wanted to share it here, since many of my readers are likely involved in interdisciplinary research themselves.
Dear members and friends of the Ecological Society of America (ESA): This survey is relevant to all ecologists, especially those engaged in interdisciplinary research. In celebration of the Centennial of ESA, a team of doctoral students at UNC Chapel Hill are...Read the full article.
If you’ve ever been in doubt about whether you chose the right programming language to learn I want to lay those concerns to rest here.
For many scientists, particularly in Biology or the Earth Sciences, there is often a question about whether you should be learning R, Python, Matlab or something else. Especially when you’re coming into scientific programming in grad school with little prior experience this might seem like a daunting proposal. You already don’t know anything about anything, and ultimately you wind up learning whatever you’re taught, or whatever your advisor is using and you wonder. . . Is the grass greener over in Python-land? Those figures look nice, if only I had learned R. . . Why did I learn on an expensive closed platform?
I am here to say “Don’t worry about it”, and I want to emphasize that with an example centered around academic outreach:
The Neotoma...Read the full article.
I am by no means an expert on the subject of under-representation in the sciences. There are some excellent academic bloggers who have done some great work in discussing issues around race and gender in academia (including DNLee, the tweeters at and using #BlackandSTEM – EDIT: this is an amazing post by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein over at medium.com). This post is intended to highlight what I’ve observed and experienced over the past year or so, with a specific observation surrounding the EarthCube Early Career Travel Grant.
The issue of diversity is tricky in...Read the full article.