• Smiling_boy_seating_at_a_table_writing,_China,_ca._1918-1938_(MFB-LS0248A)
    22 Oct 2014 • Perspectives

    Are you Shutting Up and Writing?

    Inspired by the awesome blog, the Thesis Whisperer and under the constant reminder that we must publish or perish, post docs from the School of Natural Sciences have been meeting on a weekly basis, on and off for the past year to sit down, shut up and write. Here is a bit of background on the Shut Up and Write ‘movement’, a little bit of what we’ve learned along the way and a big invite to any post grads, post docs and PIs in TCD’s School of Natural Sciences to come along and join us. One of [&hellip

  • eschew_obfuscation_bumper_sticker
    20 Oct 2014 • Uncategorized

    Nature jargon

    At a recent meeting on “Natural Capital”, Jo Pike from the World Forum on Natural Capital drew our attention to a “sustainability jargon buster” that they developed last year. Jo has a background in communications and highlighted an important point: if we are to conserve and sustainably exploit the environment, we need a common language. Ecologists can’t always agree on terminology amongst themselves but when we try to talk to economists and businesses to try and convince them of the value of the natural resources, conversations and actions can be frustrated by jargon and our opposing academic [&hellip

  • Little Tern taking off from nest © Andrew Power and Peter Cutler
    17 Oct 2014 • Research

    A tern-up for the books

    The last two years have seen successive record breeding seasons for Little Terns (Sternula albifrons) on the Irish east coast, with over 350 pairs breeding in 2013 and over 400 pairs in 2014. These record years are the result of 30 years of dedicated efforts to rescue Little Terns as an Irish breeding species, after population collapses in the 1980s and 1990s. As part of the BirdWatch Ireland team involved in these two exceptional years, we reflect on the conservation success story which has led to this remarkable tern-around in fortunes. The Little Tern is Ireland’s second [&hellip

  • demonstrating
    15 Oct 2014 • Perspectives

    Demonstrating: getting the most out of undergraduate teaching

    One of the benefits of doing research in an academic institution is the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students. Students benefit from being taught by leading researchers while staff have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists. Practical lab classes are usually a focal point of this direct interaction between student and researcher. However, due to the logistics and practicalities of managing large class sizes, PhD students are playing an increasingly important role as teaching assistants or lab demonstrators. In one of our recent NERD club sessions, Jane Stout led an interesting discussion about the [&hellip

  • RightOrWrong1921
    13 Oct 2014 • Perspectives

    PhD – Positive, Happy, Developments

    When wrong is right part 2 This post follows on directly from my previous discussion of my PhD going wrong. As a brief summary of the previous episode: I ran time consuming simulations that took me around 6 month to design and another 6 months to run. The simulation failed in the end because of a bug in some of the software I was using. Therefore, I had to run them all over again!  That took me one day (at least to relaunch it, the simulations are actually still running). In this post I’d like to focus [&hellip

  • 1280px-Herbst_(MW_2010.11.13.)
    10 Oct 2014 • News • 2 Comments

    Still Life

    I thought it would be a nice idea to have the occasional photography contest on the blog. So starting today and running until Monday 10th November anyone can submit one photograph to this album here. Just log in with username ecoevoblog and password is the same. Don’t make it obvious that it’s your image in case it biases the judge. The theme for this month will be ‘Changing Seasons’. Prizes will be determined in due course. I just want to say good luck. We’re all counting on you. Author: Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie, @P1zPalu Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autumn

  • writing
    8 Oct 2014 • Perspectives

    On the writing of a PhD thesis

    “Writing a [thesis] is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” Winston Churchill I’ve just finished my PhD thesis and thought I’d share some of my opinions on how best to go about writing one. But before we get there I’d like to express my skepticism of the value of writing [&hellip

  • IMG_8203
    6 Oct 2014 • News

    Blog Awards Winners 2014

    EcoEvo@TCD was awarded Best Science & Technology Blog in Ireland at the Blog Awards ceremony on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who has contributed posts over the past couple of years. It’s nice to know that we’ve put some good thoughts down on paper! Keep the posts coming.  

  • Dresden
    6 Oct 2014 • Perspectives • 1 Comment

    PhD – Pretty Huge Disaster

    This is a mini series of two posts about finding positive things in negative results. Science is often a trial and error process and, depending on what you’re working with, errors can be fatal. As people don’t usually share their bad experiences or negative results beyond the circle of close colleagues and friends, I thought (and hope!) that sharing my point of view, as a PhD student might be useful. If you’re about to do a PhD you will fail and if you’ve already successfully finished one, you have failed. At least a little bit… come on… [&hellip

  • image001
    3 Oct 2014 • Research

    Sustainability Through Stability

    I recently took part in a Tansley working group, an initiative that has a main working theme of advancing the ecological foundations of sustainability science. In this specific case we are seeking to construct a unified framework to help understand the multidimensional stability of ecosystems. In an era of increased human activity, significant climate change and biodiversity loss, an understanding of the mechanisms and drivers of ecosystem stability has vast implications for both ecological theory and the management of natural resources. One large challenge in the study of ecological stability comes from the complexity of ecosystems. The [&hellip