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    29 Apr 2016 • Perspectives

    Making the most out of a post doc interview

    Making the most out of a post doc interview (Even when you don’t get/want the job!) So you’ve just finished your PhD and sent out a frantic flurry of post doc applications, amidst all of the excitement, you’re invited to interview; how should you proceed?  Below are some of the things I learned from my first post doc interview recently:   A couple of weeks ago I embarked on a new first for me; my first interview! I grant you that it is unusual to be having one’s first interview at the age of 26; I had [&hellip

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    19 Apr 2016 • Seminars

    School of Natural Sciences Postgraduate Symposium 2016: Part 3/3

    Aoibheann Gaughran (@Aoibh_G) Supervisor: Nicola Marples Title: How population density influences social mammal ecology: A case study of the European badger.  The local density of a population of social mammals can affect many aspects of its ecology including social structure, mating systems, dispersal behavior, territorial behavior and the dynamics of disease. Scientists and policy-makers need a comprehensive understanding of the local population density as this may dictate the most effective management strategy. The European badger provides a particularly good species to investigate the effects of population density on other density parameters because its density varies by orders of [&hellip

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    19 Apr 2016 • Seminars

    School of Natural Science Postgraduate Symposium 2016: Part 2/3

    Aoife Delaney (@Ifa_Dee) Supervisor: Jane Stout Title: Do principals of cross congruence apply in a naturally disturbed habitat? Cross congruence is a measure of the degree to which diversity (number or composition of species) of different taxa follow broadly similar patterns in response to environmental conditions. In situations where cross congruence is strong, measuring the diversity of a single taxon can provide information regarding overall diversity, and this has led to the development of indicator taxa. Indicator taxa may be used to indicate general patterns of biological diversity or environmental conditions, often with the inference that where the environmental conditions are [&hellip

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    19 Apr 2016 • Seminars

    School of Natural Sciences Postgraduate Symposium 2016: Part 1/3

    School of Natural Sciences Postgraduate Symposium 2016: Part 1/3 #zoobotpgsymp, not an infection transmitted by botflies, but the hashtag of the annual Botany-Zoology postgraduate symposium, hosted by the School of Natural Sciences, which took place on the 14th of April. This year’s symposium hosted 15 student speakers over 2 sessions of talks as well as two pleniaries delivered by our guest speakers: Dr Nina Alphey (University of Oxford, Imperial College London) and Dr Rob Thomas (University of Cardiff). For those of you who are interested in exactly what we work on here at EcoEvo@TCD, here are the abstracts [&hellip

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    5 Mar 2016 • Perspectives, Research

    Room for one more?: Egg fostering in seabirds

      When attempting to conserve a rare animal population sometimes every individual counts. Conservationists regularly go the extra mile to protect their study species. The conservation efforts implemented for the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) in Britain and Ireland demonstrate the success these efforts can have. This species nests on shingle beaches and had experienced catastrophic population declines due to increasing development and use of beaches by people. Little Tern adults are very vulnerable to disturbance and their eggs are particularly vulnerable to walker’s boots! Thankfully a network of wardened colonies, run by a mixture of conservation organisations [&hellip

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    29 Feb 2016 • Perspectives, Research

    The Evolution and Laboratory of the Technician.

    First in a series of posts on life after an undergraduate degree, Alison Boyce gives an account of the life of a scientific technician. Science, engineering, and computing departments in universities employ technicians. Anyone working or studying in these areas will have dealt with a technician at some point but most will be unaware of a technician’s route into the position and their full role in education and research. Technical posts are varied e.g. laboratory, workshop, computer. Funding for technical support is afforded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to provide assistance in undergraduate teaching. This is [&hellip

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    24 Feb 2016 • Perspectives

    The expanding tropics 

    It was a spring day in April 2004 when Qiang Fu first noticed the anomoly in the data. On either side of the equator – in a belt strecthing from 15 to 45 degrees latitude – the lower atmosphere was warming more than anywhere else on the planet. Fu, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, was stumped.   It wasn’t until a year later that Fu realized what he had discovered: evidence of a rapid expansion of the tropics, the region that encircles Earth’s waist like a green belt. The heart of the tropics [&hellip

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    23 Feb 2016 • Perspectives, Research

    The up-goer five: Explaining research using the “ten hundred” most used words.

    At today’s NERD club, we tried our hand at explain our research using the up-goer five, which limited our available vocabulary to the “ten-hundred” most common words (thousand isn’t one of them). After some brief hesitation, the 9 of us present found out that despite being quite challenging, this can be an incredibly fun and useful activity when it comes to explaining our often jargon-filled research to the public. While this system is rigid, and a tad extreme with words such as “plant” and “science” unavailable, it forced us to find alternative ways of explaining what we do.   [&hellip

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    22 Feb 2016 • Perspectives, Reviews

    Spud Oddity: Did The Martian really “science the sh*t out of this”?

    It’s rare to come across a sci-fi movie that isn’t loaded with technobabble or scientific terms that are used ever so incorrectly. In fact, a lot of the Hollywood blockbusters are guilty of mincing the scientific words and concepts for entertainment value: “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Armageddon”, “Lucy”, “The Core”, to name but a few. In short, Science itself has been drastically misrepresented by the Hollywood industry. Then along came Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic “The Martian”. Based on the sci-fi novel by Andy Weir, it tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who’s left stranded [&hellip

    9 Feb 2016 • News, Perspectives, Research

    Listening to Evolutionary Oddities @TEDxUCD

    Last December I was asked to participate in the TEDxUCD 2015 event. The event included 9 national and international speakers with a wide range of ideas worth spreading. Despite being asked to participate only two days prior to the event luckily I could draw on the wide research area encompassed in my new Post Doc position using the COMPADRE and COMADRE databases to study patterns in demography and life-history evolution in plant and animals. As I couldn’t possible fit all the ideas worth sharing from the fields of demography and life-history evolution into an eleven-minute entertainment talk [&hellip