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Changes to NSF submission process: another reason to move to Canada?

NSF has made radical changes to their submission process, in order to cut down on the number of full proposals requiring external review. For summary and discussion of the changes see Jabberwocky Ecology and The Spandrel Shop . Early response to the changes seems to be...

Ecology interviews

Sarcozona interviewed a number of ecologists at the ESA meeting; the post on her first interview (with grad student and blogger Aaron Berdanier) is now up , with more to follow. She's elected to go with a summary format rather than question-and-answer, which seems like...

On answering tough questions

A complement to the previous post . What do you do if you're asked a tough question? The best response to a tough question is to answer it. No dodging, no spin, no bulls**t--just answer the question. There really is no substitute for having thought long and hard about...

On asking tough questions

A previous post on this blog asked why ecologists can't all just get along. Contrarian that I am, I want to ask whether we get along too well. That is, do we ask each other enough tough questions? I've been thinking about posting on this for a while. I finally decided...

Blogging the ESA: Friday highlights

Colin Kremer did not disappoint, giving a very nice talk in which he compiled a massive dataset on the thermal optima and tolerance ranges of different marine phytoplankton, showed that species that like it warmer live in warmer places and that species with wider...

The ESA meeting should have Science Cafes

In addition to putting on free evening ecology talks for the general public, the ESA should also be doing at least one Science Cafe in association with the annual meeting. Science Cafes are events in which (at least in Calgary, where I live) a couple of scientists plus...

Blogging the ESA: Thursday highlights

Spent the morning in the symposium on the ecological consequences of intraspecific variation. An amazing lineup of speakers--the ones I saw (Dave Vasseur, Steve Ellner, Rick Lankau, Lauren Ancel Myers, Seb Schreiber, and Dan Bolnick) were all really excellent, full of...

The ESA meeting should have public lectures (UPDATED)

Sarcozona asks why the ESA meeting doesn't include free lectures aimed at the general public. That's a great question; I think it's really weird that the ESA doesn't do this. The Canadian ecology & evolution meeting included such a lecture back in May (in the...

Blogging the ESA: Wednesday highlights

This is going to be very short, because it's very late. Another excellent day of talks. Chi Yuan, Jon Shurin, and George Livingston lived up to my high expectations, and Carl Boettiger was so good he made my high expectations look like some sort of insult. Amy Downing...

How different levels of scientists appear to other scientists

I couldn't possibly comment on how true this is.

Blogging the ESA: Tuesday highlights

What. A. Day. Best day of talks I've had at the ESA in years . And lots of them were from students and postdocs. I won't attempt much in the way of summaries (you can read the abstracts, which for the most part were accurate summaries of what was actually said). But I...

Blogging the ESA: Sunday and Monday highlights

The highlight of Sunday was the big party out at Mathew Leibold's ranch, "Rancho Relaxo". Mathew invited a whole bunch of his friends out to his place for an evening of eating, drinking, conversation, and sweating (OMG it's hot here!) It occurred to me that this is...

Blogging the ESA: Talks to see on Friday

9 am, room 10B: Hurtado et al. on the interplay of disease-host and predator-prey dynamics. Related to talks by Spencer Hall and Meghan Duffy earlier in the conference. 9:50 am, room 12B: Kremer et al. on adaptation of plankton to thermally varying environments. Colin...

Blogging the ESA: Talks to see on Thursday

Ok, writing paragraph-length previews for the highlighted talks is taking too long. So I'm keeping this short and sweet. 8:30 am, Ballroom B: Vasseur et al. on coexistence via neighbor-dependent selection. Dave's super-smart, and he gives a great talk. He'll be...

A statistical overview of the ESA meeting

Want to know what proportion of the presentations concern plants vs. animals vs. microbes, and other fun facts? Biological Posteriors has crunched the numbers.

Blogging the ESA: Talks to see on Wednesday

8 am, room 5: Yuan and Chesson on differing sensitivities to environmental fluctuations as a mechanism of temporal niche partitioning. The storage effect is an important mechanism by which environmental fluctuations can promote competitive coexistence. But existing...

Blogging the ESA: Talks to see on Tuesday

8:20 am, room 4: Smith et al. on coexistence of cryptic species of amphipods. Cryptic species are a great testbed for coexistence theory. If we can't tell them apart without sequencing, they must be functionally identical and therefore neutrally-stable, right? Well, no...

Blogging the ESA: Talks to see on Monday

Many students tend to find the ESA meeting overwhelmingly big. So in the interests of helping you sort through the clutter, I'm going to put up a series of blog posts highlighting some of the talks I plan to see each day. I'm interested in population, community, and...

Oikos: ecology ends here

Someone just found the Oikos blog by searching on "last ideas in ecology". I don't think there will ever be a "last" idea in ecology. But if someone ever does come up with an idea so powerful and all-encompassing that ecology as a field can just pack up and go home, I...

Fantasy ecology dinner

Thought I'd share the final question I was asked during my doctoral candidacy exam: if you could have dinner with any three deceased ecologists, who would they be and why? I named Darwin, for obvious reasons, and Gause, for reasons I've previously described . Can't...

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