I realize, I have been remiss as of late posting awesome science related videos. So….
WARNING: This blog entry contains me awkwardly groping with math. It’s not pretty. It’s not done elegantly – indeed, for problems of even moderate complexity I fired up maxima (which is totally awesome!) rather than screw up the algebra on paper. And there are a few leaps that I make that I’m sure someone could write a proof for, but, well… While I fall somewhere in the middle of the theoretical – experimental axis of scientists, that doesn’t mean it’s something I do every day, so, expect some turbulence. I welcome comments and suggestions.
And, indeed, despite my lit searching, I’m not entirely convinced that someone hasn’t done this before, so, I may be re-inventing a very old wheel. But I thought it might be interesting to post these thoughts, if only for my own processing of recent research results.
I also admit, showing some (clumsy) mathematical thoughts publically makes me feel, well, like I’m not wearing any pants. Oh well. Onwards! With or without pants!
So, I was intrigued by Kyle’s comment on my entry about the AJB diversity function paper. He said that surely theory must lead us to conclude that, due to only a limited number of species being able to pack into a space, a plot may never achieve some theoretical maximum amount of productivity as predicted by some curve.
This led me to think more about diversity effects, and why are they saturating, anyway? Should they be? It’s not Kyle’s original question, but, it’s an interesting one and leads down similar theoretical pathways (I think).
So I decided to go back to basic competition theory – the Lotka-Volterra competition equations. Continue reading
I woke up this morning to a wonderful email in my inbox (thanks, Fergus!) letting me know about a little musical delight. A song about diurnal zooplankton migration entitled, well, Diurnal Migration. With lyrics like Much of the ocean is not yet explored/ Though submarines pootle about the sea floor, how can you go wrong? (Also, I now have an image of Dr. M. pootling about the seafloor).
So, I went on and decided to listen to the rest of the album, Pre-Apocalyptic Love Song, by Hannah Werdmuller, an ecologist-singer-songwriter. With songs about Grow-Bags, being prepared for the apocalypse (I showed you my heart, you showed me your homemade snare trap ), how could you go wrong? So go check it out!
And then things got even more awesome.
I noticed she had a musical twitter feed where she linked to a new collection of songs, Geek Like Me from the virtual music festival Geek Pop. Basically, it had me at its first song, animals, with the phrase Let’s make love like salmon living in fresh water/ You leave it in the bath I’ll come and pick it up later and the fact that it had a song entitled Brokeback Workbench.
Yay! Just what I needed to make my morning of recoding some ill behaving R packages worth it!
For the past three years, the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America has hosted a wonderful entitled “Ecology on the Web”. Under the curation of Jeff Hollister, EoW started out and grew to provide a number of links to fantastic ecological projects on the web.
If you’re reading this, you know that using the internet as a medium to facilitate communication between scientists is a passion of mine. So I was delighted when Jeff asked me to take over the feature.
So for the next issue of the Bulletin, I’m hoping to take Ecology on the Web and run with it a little bit, In addition to featuring the web presence and products of great ecological projects, I’d also like to feature notable places where Ecologists are using the medium of the web to communicate, converse, argue, and generally share their science. To that end, I’d like to also feature two blogs, and two exemplary blog posts or other form of online writing per issue.
So, please, feel free to submit now or for future issues. Simple provide me with a link and a brief (150 words or less) annotation about the link.
If you have found something on the web that is particularly compelling, interesting, or worthy of mention, I’d love to hear about that, too!
Lastly, if any of you have any great suggestions for interesting things that could be done with the feature, please leave them in the comments below. I’d love some feedback!
Hey, all! For the rest of the month, I’m the Scientist in Residence over at The Deep Sea News! Muchas gracias to Rick, Miriam, Kevin, and the rest of the crew for bringing me on board. My first post is up where I discuss some of my work on How are extinctions and invasions shaping food webs?
More posts to come!
Last October, Colin Bates and Jeff Morales conducted a workshop on Scientific Filmmaking at my old stomping grounds, the Bodega Marine Lab. The two run an awesome organization whose sole mission is to train people in ways to tell compelling science stories via video. As someone who has worked on a scientific documentary before, film is an incredible medium to have science make a direct connection with the public. So hats off to them.
But even cooler, one of my former labmates was the topic of one of the videos from the workshop! So check out this awesome video about Kris Aquilino below. She gives a great introduction in to the wild world of science that asks whether the diversity of life on earth matters for how the world functions.
Hey! I’m in a book! For kids! Best of all, its’ a chapter to help kids get excited about marine science. I got hooked into the world of marine biology young, and have never looked back. I mean – The ocean! Sea life! It’s awesome!
So, I was delighted when Alisa Weinstein asked me a few years ago to contribute to her Earn My Keep project. The basic premise of the project is that we want our kids to learn about some of the interesting jobs and professions out there in the real world. So, to earn their allowance, why not have your kids try out projects based on real-world careers. Have them see what its like to be a marine biologist, or a costume designer, or a librarian, or a yoga teacher, or more!
Alisa organized 50 of us (how she balanced the correspondence I’ll never know), and asked us questions about our jobs – what do we love about them? What is involved in our daily professional lives? What are some projects that kids can do to get a sense of our job?
The results are collected in her new Earn It, Learn It which is due to be published soon! Definitely worth checking out for those of you with kids out there, and if you want to see some of the results, Alisa has actually been trying all of these projects out with her daughter Mia.
As for me, I’m just happy that I finally managed to get the difference between a marine biologist and marine ecologist in print for kids. Got to start ‘em early!
So, you’re an ecology power-couple starting a new life. You’ve got some elegant and incredibly ambitious experiments designed, funded, and ready to go. You’re about to revolutionize the study of coastal ecosystems…but where?
Where is in the Gulf of Mexico.
And right before your work really takes flight, the Deepwater Horizon happens.
So, what do you do? Blog it.
Dr. Randall Hughes and Dr. David Kimbro are two of the finest ecologists I know (and former colleagues out at BML). Their blog/vlog, in collaboration with WFSU-TV, should be a fascinating exploration of how ecologists conduct research, as well as tracking research efforts on the effects of oil on marshes, seagrass, and oyster beds in real time.
So go check out In the Grass, On the Reef.