Blog

Advice: how to interview for a faculty position

Amusing and mostly good advice on interviewing for a faculty position from the Contemplative Mammoth . I would add that overdressing can be as bad as underdressing. I overdressed for my first interview--jacket and tie. It just made me look uptight. If I could do it...

Advice: on protecting grad students from their own optimism

I've written about how lucky I was to get the academic position I currently hold, and how I was prepared to quit science if I hadn't gotten it. I've suggested that current grad students hoping to go on in academia follow my example: recognize that the odds of success...

Species pools and the fallacy of composition (UPDATED)

A species pool is the set of all species that could potentially colonize some local site. Many important ideas in community ecology and biogeography start from assumptions about the species pool, and about dispersal from the species pool to the local site, and from...

Can we select okra to taste like creme brulee?

Evolutionary humor from The Onion .

A subtler, funnier "Spandrels"

Ace evolutionary biologist and blogger Jeremy Yoder pops up in the comments on my post taking down "Spandrels of San Marco," pointing us to a 1983 paper by Norman Ellstrand that makes the same point as Gould and Lewontin, but in a much funnier and more subtle way. I...

Free idea for a provocative review paper: comparing 'selection' in evolution vs. ecology

Selection isn't just something that happens in evolution. Selection occurs whenever one type of organism, by virtue of its properties, leaves more descendants than another type of organism (actually, 'selection' isn't even limited to organisms, or to ancestor-...

Is Hutchinson's zombie idea about coexistence not a zombie after all?! (UPDATED)

Is Hutchinson’s zombie idea about coexistence not a zombie after all?! In my original zombie ideas post , I criticized three distinct theoretical claims about how disturbances and fluctuating environmental conditions can promote competitive coexistence. These claims...

Must read: what doing science feels like

Just found this old post from statistician Andrew Gelman, wonderfully articulating what it's like when you have a hypothesis, have some data relevant to that hypothesis ("not enough, never enough!"), and try to analyze the data so as to test the hypothesis. This is...

Must reads: theoreticians explain themselves to empiricists

Great comment from "lowendtheory" on my post asking for eloquent statements of what it means to be a theorist. Points out two terrific articles--absolute must-reads : Writing for a highly-empirical ecological audience in The Auk in 1981, Simon Levin , one of the world'...

Crowdsourcing: Looking for eloquent statements of 'what it means to be a theorist'

Loyal Oikos blog reader and theoretical ecologist Robin Snyder emailed me with a question, which I'm hoping other readers can answer: "I'm talking to some undergraduates soon about how I got where I am, what it means to do science, etc. and need to give them something...

A blog about scientific blogging

Just found Science of Blogging , a blog about scientific blogging. Includes interviews with scientists who blog and use other forms of social media, discussions of interesting issues like blogging as a form of post-publication peer review, and links to blog posts of...

On rhetoric in scientific writing

Scientific papers are infamous for being dry and technical. There are good reasons for that. A scientific paper is supposed to convince the reader of its conclusions on the objective basis of the evidence it presents. What matters, or what is supposed to matter, is...

Model-based humor

Here .

Biggest week ever for the Oikos blog

Last week was the biggest week ever for the Oikos blog: 2526 page views! And since WordPress doesn't count syndicated views in that total (well, they started doing so a few weeks ago, then mysteriously stopped after a few days), the true number of views is considerably...

More ecology humor by non-ecologists

At least, I assume no one who writes for The Onion is an ecologist. ;-)

Is scientific misconduct especially rare in ecology and evolution?

Recent news about unusually serious scientific misconduct by psychologist Diederik Stapel (he made up the data in more than 30 papers; see coverage here and here ) got me thinking about scientific misconduct, or the apparent lack thereof, in ecology and evolutionary...

Where are the wholehearted defenders of the IDH zombies?

One thing I've been struck by, in the responses to my repeated attacks on the zombie ideas that comprise the core of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, is that nobody's come forward with a full-on defense of those ideas--direct counterarguments to any of my...

Carnival of Evolution #41 now up

The latest Carnival of Evolution, a compilation of links to all sorts of evolution-related blogging goodness, is now up at The Mermaid's Tale . If you feel overwhelmed by all the interesting stuff out there that you could be reading, the Carnival is a nice filter--it's...

Another ecology & evolution blog you should be reading

Just found Mousetrap , a very interesting blog about the history and philosophy of ecology and evolution. Lots of thought-provoking tidbits based on close reading of people who nowadays we (and that "we" includes me) mostly know only through textbook caricatures:...

Recommendations for new readers arriving from Evolving Thoughts

For new readers who found there way here from Evolving Thoughts , welcome! Obviously, I recommend you read our entire archives (less than 200 posts!), but if that proves infeasible, I recommend: Philosophical posts: 'Synthesizing ecology': revisiting an Oikos classic...

Pages

Subscribe to Blog

Recent Comments & Hot Topics