What makes a great scientist? Part 4: collaboration

Science is challenging, which means generally more can be achieved when working in teams. Different people have different skills, ideas, and approaches, so often, a team can solve problems which an individual working alone couldn’t. In fact, today, most publications, studies, and grant proposals involve multiple individuals and partnerships, in some cases reaching the thousands. … Continue reading What makes a great scientist? Part 4: collaboration

Losing the big ones: human impacts on mammalian body size distribution

Humans have modified the Earth in many ways. We have deforested many areas, some long ago (like Europe) and some more recently (like the Amazon). We hunt many species, some to extinction. We pollute and even change the climate (there is no denying that!). We also do some “good things” to remedy these impacts and … Continue reading Losing the big ones: human impacts on mammalian body size distribution

What makes a great scientist? Part 3: “slacking”

Last week a number of people shared an article about how Darwin was a slacker and we should be too in diverse social media. This is close to an idea I have already written about in a previous entry ("Procrastinating for inspiration") also based on another article I had read at the time. I feel it … Continue reading What makes a great scientist? Part 3: “slacking”

What makes a great scientist? Part 2: Perseverance

If you want an easy, straight forward career, scientific research and academia are likely not for you. I am sure all careers require dealing with rejections and numerous hurdles, but few will keep you waiting for a first permanent job until you are close to 40 (or older) and require a constant competition in which … Continue reading What makes a great scientist? Part 2: Perseverance

What makes a great scientist? Part 1: peer review

In a somewhat pretentious move, I have decided to start a brief series within my blog (hopefully will also be an excuse to write more often) discussing components of what it means to be a (great) scientist, or more pragmatically what things you may want to pay attention to when trying to secure a job … Continue reading What makes a great scientist? Part 1: peer review

Who is Who? Matching taxonomic names

If you have ever used more than one database describing information for a list of species, you probably have struggled with the "joys" of finding the right name matches. I work mostly with mammalian databases (I have compiled a list of many of these useful resources here) and despite being generally well-know species I always run … Continue reading Who is Who? Matching taxonomic names

Phylogenetic trophic niche conservatism: or the importance of high quality data

2016 has been an annus horribilis in many ways, but it has also been my most productive (publication wise) year. Compared to the top, most prolific ecologists out there, my five papers* this year are perhaps pitiful, but for me this year has brought more papers and also special ones. One paper each by my … Continue reading Phylogenetic trophic niche conservatism: or the importance of high quality data