• Internal-Affairs
    21 Nov 2014 • Perspectives

    Internal Affairs

    So for various reasons, one of which was being unsure of whether a PhD was for me, I found myself asking to work as an Intern with the good people in the Zoology Department at TCD. To give you a bit of background, I am a Zoology graduate with an MSc in Marine Biology, so not just some random bloke who happens to like animals and fancied chancing his arm. Anyway, I approached Dr. Ian Donohue whose research group interested me and thus began a 9 month Internship as a Research Assistant. With a little trepidation and [&hellip

  • IMG_1564
    17 Nov 2014 • News

    Tropical Field Course Kenya

    We’ve just returned from our annual Tropical Ecology Field Course in Kenya with our final year undergraduates. Our trip took us on a journey through the rift valley to the theme of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Here are some of the sights of the trip:       Author: Deirdre McClean Photo credits: Deirdre McClean and Ian Donohue

  • making baby smile
    14 Nov 2014 • Perspectives

    DOs and DO NOTs of moderation

    Moderation is the art of “avoidance of extremes in one’s actions, beliefs, or habits”, according to dictionaries.  In academic meetings chances are to find a colorful mix of extremes ranging from big mouths to shy introverts, and making everyone’s voice heard can be quite challenging. In worst-case scenarios, even hearing one’s own voice can become problematic. In order to make a group discussion productive, smooth and -why not? – fun, participants designate or invite a moderator to fill in the conductor’s role. He or she will have excellent people skills and professional knowledge, will know how to puck [&hellip

  • VE Day
    10 Nov 2014 • Perspectives

    ‘By live voice’ – how to plan for and get through your viva

    “Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence.” Daniel Burnham The viva or thesis defence is a daunting obstacle. It’s built up so much that you feel as if your previous three years of work hinge on how you perform for one morning/afternoon. Despite all the reassurances I was offered I was hugely nervous before it. That said, some of the advice I received meant I wasn’t flying blind and [&hellip

  • -D3-_LighningStormPanorama
    7 Nov 2014 • News

    A Spark of Science

    Why are some snakes more venomous than others? When did plate tectonics begin? What geological mysteries await our discovery on Mars? How do organisms build their own bodies? How do businesses manage biodiversity? These are just some of the interesting and diverse Lightning Talks which were presented at a recent event in the School of Natural Sciences. Researchers from the disciplines of Botany, Geology, Geography and Zoology had just two minutes to present their work to colleagues and friends. The strict format created an interesting evening filled with bite-size chunks of science. We were very lucky to [&hellip

  • flickr-uelwebteam-byndnc2
    3 Nov 2014 • Perspectives, Seminars

    Size isn’t everything: organising small conferences

    The late afternoon sky drizzled softly on Manchester. The pubs along Oxford Road gently creaked with the weight of workers sinking pints following a long week of doing whatever it is that people who work in Manchester do.  Sat in a beer garden, I relaxed and pondered the exceptionally busy previous 48 hours, the main feature of which had been the effective and successful running of a small conference. Having waved goodbye to 50 happy delegates, I had the time to reflect on what had made it successful. The small conference in question was a joint meeting [&hellip

  • Steam-PromoLeaflet-Final (1)-page-001
    31 Oct 2014 • Perspectives

    Science in a Box

    “Where did dinosaurs come from?” “How are black holes created?” “How big is the Universe?” “If we use mud wraps for our skin, why can’t we use mud as shampoo for our hair?!” These are just some of the interesting (and very diverse) questions I’ve received from enthusiastic primary school students over the past couple of weeks. They’re testimony to the curiosity and imagination that’s unleased when you encourage children to think about science. I’m a co-teacher for the new “Science in a Box” scheme: a pilot programme for a new way of teaching science in primary [&hellip

  • 1280px-Japanese_Squirrel_edited_version
    30 Oct 2014 • News

    Still still life

    Our photography competition is still open to entries (deadline 10th November). Submit one photograph to the album here. Log in with the username ecoevoblog and password which is the same. Remember, don’t give it a name that will reveal the photographer so as to avoid bias. Good luck! Author: Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie, @P1zPalu Photo credit: wikimedia commons

  • save
    29 Oct 2014 • Perspectives, Research

    Say “the rise of the age of mammals” again, I double dare you!

    In biology and among biologists, we like to use terms that we know are not correct but that still come in handy when you’re confident that your interlocutor understands them the way you do. I’m thinking of terms such as “key adaptations”, “living fossils”, etc… However, among them, there is one that particularly bugs me and makes me feel like Samuel L. Jackson in the iconic Pulp Fiction scene and that is: “the rise of the age of mammals”.   Recently, Barry Lovegrove and his students published a nice data driven paper in Proceedings of the Royal [&hellip

  • AWBVDSC_2691.jpeg-p194p512d2km1im218hp1hk2sjt-0
    24 Oct 2014 • Research

    Bird Feeders

    It’s coming up to winter so people will be conscious that our garden birds need a helping hand to get through the cold months. Bird feeders will be stocked, bread served up and water dished out. In the UK alone, almost half of households provide supplementary food for birds throughout the year. And although songbirds are usually the species that come to mind when we think of provisioning food the same principle can apply to more exotic birds, notably vultures. Indeed conservationists have supplied extra food to these scavengers for decades. Instead of bread or berries, a [&hellip