#SciStuChat!

After a long wait, our How-To article on #SciStuChat is finally out! You can read it here: http://abt.ucpress.edu/content/78/7/599 So what’s #SciStuChat? Read the paper. Just kidding. You should read it, but the tldr; is that it is a monthly chat where students in science classes across the nation and the globe interact with scientists via Twitter. …

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Meat Camp!

Summer field season is upon us, and our first stop: Meat Camp! As strange as it sounds, this isn’t a summer camp of sorts, but rather the small North Carolina town where some adorable young bluebirds, and their tiny parasites, can be found. Above and to the left, you can see a nest box with …

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Tightrope Walking in Heels

We’ve just finished hosting a Quantitative Biology Workshop at Spelman to attract our Atlanta-area colleagues and bring a few collaborators in town. In about a week, I’ll be at NSF for a panel. Somehow, I’m also moving in the midst of this… In trying to have some strategy so that I’ve got everything I need to …

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Research Proposal Season

It is definitely true that proposal writing, editing, and evaluation are skills that can be developed over time. I say that with just a N=1 (me), but I’ve seen it amongst others, too, and several mentors have suggested as much. So how do you advise a student writing their first research proposal, particularly if they’re …

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When “Wee” Present

It’s enough to prepare your own presentation for conferences, but it’s another to help students prepare. In addition to the normal mechanics of what a presentation should look/sound like, there are also conference jitters. This can affect how strongly students ‘engage’ and what they take away from the conference experience. To help your students have …

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Presentations!

Sometimes we get too close to our research. Ok, all of the time we’re probably too close. If you’re like me, you’re fascinated by what you do, and even when things are slow-going, you’re still excited to wake up and think about things. The problem is, you might spend all day, every day, thinking about …

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Go see Ant-Man. Right now.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com Another Marvel blockbuster, Ant-Man, has come out this summer. With polite nods to previous Avengers and Shield storylines, this is the tale of a good guy, a super-cool shrinking suit, and a pretty amazing scientist with an affinity for ants. Not to give too much away about the plot, I’ll just leave …

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Failure. Eep!

Failure. . . It sucks, but everyone successful has failed at some point, so it’s useful to talk about how to “fail well”. I was recently asked to share my thoughts on failure with a mentee, and how to avoid/overcome it. This is what I mean by “failing well”. To “fail well”, I mean to fail at something …

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TEDxMSU: Hot or Not? Just Try.

Shouting “Sex!” in front of nearly 2,000 people can be scary, but it proved to be a pretty effective way to grab an audience’s attention. On March 4th, 2015, I delivered a TED talk on my evolution research at TEDxMSU, an independently organized TED event held at Michigan State University. The process to getting selected …

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The Letter…

I wrote a few weeks back about my disgust that Scientific American would post articles which clearly do not value diversity. Given that Nature has also been called on the carpet for this, I find it refreshing and ironic that the Nature Publishing Group (parent to both of these publications) would now sponsor a diversity week this week. Whatever …

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How *does* she do it?!

Make fun of me all you want, but my little black book (a.k.a, my agenda—don’t get too excited now) is my best friend. In the age of technology, I’m still attached to paper and prefer the tactile sense of writing my to-do lists. Nothing feels quite as good to me as physically striking off a …

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So… how’d your interview go?

March 5th-7th, 2014, I had the pleasure to participate in the CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) Network Exchange program as a former Future Academic Scholars in Teaching (FAST) Fellow at Michigan State University. I traveled down to The University of Georgia (UGA) to give presentations on both my Teaching-As-Research (TAR) …

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Bacteria Aid Social Communication

Twitter may limit humans to 140 characters, but a just-as-brief scent post can convey an encyclopedia of information about the animals that left them. MSU BEACONites Kevin Theis and Kay Holecamp studied multiple groups of male and female spotted and striped hyenas in Kenya and found that “when hyenas leave paste deposits on grass, the …

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Keep Climbing…

It’s great to know you’ll never hit your peak — fitness peak, that is. Bacteria in MSU BEACONite Richard Lenski’s Michigan State University lab are still growing ‘fitter’ even after 58,000 generations — and 25 years! — of living in the same, simple environment. In a recent paper published in Science, Michael Wiser, lead author …

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No Pain, All Gain, Says Mouse

Grasshopper mice aren’t just cute: they EAT scorpions. The painful, potentially deadly stings of  ark scorpions don’t bother them; stings are just par for the course in devouring a meal. In a paper published in Science, MSU BEACONite Ashlee Rowe and colleagues demonstrated that the grasshopper mice are essentially numb to the pain caused by …

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Including Girls in STEM Outreach

From my recent experience at the Gender Summit, years of science outreach, and discussions with colleagues on how to most effectively *do* outreach, I decided I should offer my two-cents on including girls in STEM outreach, particularly in outreach that is proclaimed and designed to “reach everyone”. Recognizing the need for diversity along all fronts …

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Smells Like ‘Preen’ Spirit

Does your sweetheart smell sexy? It might not be only their looks that make them hot… or not. Scent is one of the most basic ways animals exchange information, but many animals are thought to primarily use other modes of communication, like acoustic or visual signals, to indicate their status and quality as a mate. …

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