Although I’ve been a graduate student for more than four years, I’ve been a peer-reviewed author for just a few short months. My brief time as a researcher, writer, and published scientist in no way makes me an expert when it comes to developing a successful career in academia. However, during my time in grad school, I have become aware of three critical rules for achieving success in my field.
Rule 1. Do good science. This is a no-brainer, really. If you want to be recognized for your contributions to the scientific world, start with good science.
Rule 2. Be an advocate for your science. This is less obvious, but equally important. One of the most critical ways for your good science to be recognized is for you to advocate for it. This means give talks...
A third of global freshwater crayfish populations are threatened with extinction, according to a newly published report. A large team of researchers from the UK, Ireland, USA, Mexico, Australia and Austria, led by Nadia Richman at the Zoological Society of London, evaluated the extinction risk of the world’s 590 freshwater crayfish species based on the IUCN Red List categories.
32% of global crayfish species were classified by the team as ‘at risk of extinction’, a figure far higher than...Read the full article.
This year, for the 30th year in a row, the University of Calgary will be celebrating Darwin Day with an invited seminar by a top evolutionary biologist.* We’re very excited to have the Rich Lenski as our speaker this year.**
Rich has done lots of great stuff, but he’s most famous for his long-term evolution experiment (LTEE) with E. coli, which has been running for almost 27 years and over 60,000 generations. Rich has a series of blog posts summarizing the key results. I’m not an evolutionary biologist, and I’m biased because I’m a microcosm guy, but whatever–I think the LTEE is the world’s greatest evolution experiment.
I think it’s really interesting not just for the scientific results...Read the full article.
It takes time and effort to publish a paper. After all, if it were really easy, then publications wouldn’t be a workable (albeit flawed) currency in for success in the sciences.
I often have heard about how some labs experience a bigger or smaller MPU (minimum publishable unit) than others, as I’ve worked in biology departments with a lot of academic diversity.
For example, I once knew an immunologist in an undergraduate institution who spent five years of consistently applied effort, to generate a single paper on a smallish-scale project. This wasn’t a problem in the department, as everyone accepted the notion that the amount of work that it took to generate a paper on this topic was greater than what it would take for (say) physiology, vertebrate paleontology, or ecology.
As another example, I knew a physiologist who was one of the more productive professors in his teaching institution. This person was quick to minimize the research, claiming that it’s...Read the full article.
As I’ve written about before, we’ve moved Intro Bio towards a flipped model: students have to do pre-readings (and sometimes watch videos) prior to coming to class, they get quizzed before every class (on both the pre-readings and material from the earlier class), and we’ve incorporated much more active learning into the classroom (e.g., clickers, drawing and interpreting figures). I am 100% certain that my students learned more with this format. I haven’t yet done a formal analysis of the Bloom’s taxonomy levels of exam questions, but I know I was writing many more questions that required application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation than I did in the past, and the mean...Read the full article.