Author Archives

Rapid Ecology

Big data also need big concepts

In biology, data on species abundance, diversity and traits are made openly available in big biodiversity databases: big data. Here, I highlight some problems that big data approaches can have, which is particularly worrying if analysis outcomes are used to inform (inter)national policies on conservation strategies.*

The color purple, and the feeding ecology of a snail

Tyrian purple is a unique dye, which comes from the snail Hexaplex trunculus. Thousands of years ago, so many snails were harvested that the shells left behind forever changed the landscape of many Mediterranean cities. These middens, mounds of shell remains reflect the demand of ancient royalty for something as simple as the color purple. By pairing archeological studies of middens with modern experiments, the feeding patterns of H. trunculus can be revealed.

Short-term Organizational Tools for Scientists

A big part of a student’s daily work is organizing their professional life – managing tasks and effectively using their time each day to meet long-term goals. But, as a friend of mine recently pointed out, little in our training prepares us for this critical, but difficult, task. In this post, I describe tools and share resources and advice related to short-term (daily/weekly task) organization that I’ve picked up in my last three years of grad school. This is a follow up to my previous post on tools/resources related to long-term organization.

Long-term Organizational Tools for Scientists

A big part of a student’s daily work is organizing their professional life – deciding on project priorities, keeping track of resources, mapping out long-term research plans, and setting appropriate goals. But, as a friend of mine recently pointed out, little in our training prepares us for this critical, but difficult and unintuitive, task. In this post, I describe tools and share resources and advice related to long-term organization that I’ve picked up in my last three years of grad school. I’ll be following this up with a second post on tools/resources related to short-term (daily/weekly task) organization.