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Ecologist interview: Juliana Mulroy

Sarcozona resumes her series of interviews from last year's ESA Meeting (better late than never!) with a chat with plant population ecologist Julian Mulroy from the ESA Historical Records Committee.

Carnival of Evolution #44

The best of last month's online evolutionary writings, here . Get 'em while they're hot!

Advice: how to give a good presentation

Over at NeuroDojo, Zen Faulkes has been doing a lengthy series of posts on how to give a good presentation. The latest one, on the need to avoid "shortcuts to credibility" (like trying to talk differently than you usually talk), is here . The whole series is...

Cool new Oikos papers (UPDATED)

Lots of interesting papers coming out in Oikos in the next little while. I wanted to highlight a few that particularly caught my eye. In the most recent (Feb. 2012) issue: Barto & Rillig on dissemination biases in ecology. This is a really important study. Barto...

Deborah Mayo's blog has moved

Ace philosopher of science and statistics Deborah Mayo has moved her blog. It's now here (and now looks much sharper).

Getting over Robert MacArthur (UPDATEDx3)

The previous post referred to a philosophy talk about Robert MacArthur, his observations of feeding warblers, and the competition models which his warbler work helped inspire.The speaker apparently drew some general lessons about the conduct of ecological science from...

On seeing the big picture

Nice post from Joan Strassman at Sociobiology on the art of seeing the big picture, the forest for the trees. The way to do that is to have "blurry vision", so that you can't see individual trees at all. Read the whole thing. Joan's thoughts were prompted by attending...

Statisticians, meet ecologists

Interesting discussion thread over at statistician Andrew Gelman's blog, about time series analysis of the lynx-hare cycle. Standard phenomenological statistical models (autoregressive moving average models) don't fit or predict these data all that well. Andrew links...

The last word on US vs. Canadian funding systems

This kind of sums up my experience of this debate: Well, either that, or this: UPDATE: I'm kidding, of course. ;-)

Crowdsourcing papers on species' traits as predictors of their abundances

Back in the blog's early days I did what I still think is a quite nice little post on whether we should expect species' phenotypic traits to predict or explain their abundances. I'm going to be fleshing that post out into a short perspectives-type review paper, mixing...

Another legacy of NCEAS: devalued introverts?

Modern science is increasingly a collaborative enterprise. In ecology, NCEAS was very influential in driving the shift towards collaboration. But The Curious Wavefunction asks a good question: what if one side effect of this shift is to devalue the scientific...

Zombie ideas in ecology: "neutral" = "dispersal limitation"

Following on from the previous post , another way in which community ecologists often misinterpret neutral models is by mixing up neutrality with dispersal limitation. This leads to mistakes like testing for neutrality by testing for a community ecology equivalent of "...

Zombie ideas in ecology: "neutral" = "stochastic"

Recent interest in neutral theory in community ecology has given rise to a zombie idea: that "neutral" and "stochastic" mean the same thing. They don't. It's easy to see where this zombie idea comes from: neutral drift in evolution is a stochastic process, while...

Another peer review reform: Peerage of Science (UPDATED)

Following on from previous posts on reforming peer review (see here , here , and here ), I wanted to note a new peer review service, Peerage of Science . PoS is a private company founded by a trio of Finnish scientists, which combines several proposed peer review...

What if science journals "bid" on manuscripts?

In science, we "match" manuscripts to journals by submitting to them one at a time. If the journal declines the ms, we resubmit elsewhere. This is arguably an inefficient system. Leading journals like Oikos decline the vast majority of mss they receive, and it is not...

Sh*t scientists say

Amusing video here . But it's mostly not sh*t ecologists or evolutionary biologists say (well, except "stochastic", "got any virgin flies?", and "more work is needed"). Feel free to suggest sh*t ecologists or evolutionary biologists say in the comments.

More on good lecturing

It's not actually a response to my post asking if even the best lectures are bad, but it might as well have been: Joan Strassman at Sociobiology has a nice post arguing that lectures absolutely have their place. Includes some tips on how to make your own lectures...

The scientific impact of a nation of beavers

Recent changes in the grant application procedures of the US National Science Foundation have prompted much discussion, and have renewed the debate over the best way for governments to fund scientific research. I have argued in favor of the Canadian NSERC system...

How do you read? How much do you read?

SciCurious has a poll up asking readers how many papers they read per week, and whether they think they read enough (so far, most respondents don't think they do). Which prompted this rather peeved reaction from DrugMonkey, about how the number of papers one reads is...

Advice: choose the right tool for the job

As an editor, reviewer, and committee member, I have seen many authors and students give the following rationale for their chosen research approach (e.g., choice of study design, analytical method, or response variable): "This approach has proven useful in other...

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