Half Life

Today marks a unique day for the LTEE and me. The LTEE started on February 17, 1988.  That was 11,517 days ago. I was born on August 13, 1956.  That was 23,034 days ago. That means that the LTEE is now half as old as I am. To put it another way, I’ve spent half …

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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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A Wild Weekend

My wife Madeleine and I had a wild Memorial-day weekend. Late Saturday afternoon, a dog found a baby squirrel, perhaps 5 or 6 weeks old, and chased it through our fence. The poor squirrel appeared to be in shock—its back was wet; it had probably been mouthed by the dog—but otherwise unharmed. We tried putting …

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Wonderful Life Times Two

No, I’m not talking about the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart, and the eponymous book Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould that presented the case for the role of contingency in the evolution of life. Rather, I’m celebrating a wonderful end to the week and a wonderful weekend, too. Last week, we submitted …

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To Edinburgh and Back

I had a terrific visit to Scotland last week.  The graduate students in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh invited me to speak there.  Thanks especially to Manon Ragonnet and Sam Lewis for organizing and hosting my visit. It seems a bit extravagant to fly overseas for a one-hour lecture.  But …

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The Good Old Days

I started applying for faculty jobs in 1983, after about a year and a half as a postdoc.  The job market was tight then, as the US was coming out of a deep recession.  (Sound familiar?)  And faculty jobs in microbial evolution simply didn’t exist in those days.  So I applied for any and all …

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