Archive for January, 2014

NERD club transferrable skills: reviewers, rejections and responses

NERD club transferrable skills: reviewers, rejections and responses

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Academic publishing: the currency of any research career. It’s all very straightforward; take your most recent ground-breaking results, wrap them up into a neat paper, choose the perfect journal, allow said paper to persuade an editor and reviewers of your brilliance and bask in the reflective glow of getting your research out into the world. Whether you see this rosy scenario as a target or delusional and unattainable aspirations, things rarely work out so smoothly. Instead, every researcher must learn to deal with the topic of one of our recent NERD club discussions; reviewers, rejections and responses. [&hellip

Seminar Series: Kendra Cheruvelil, Michigan State University/Queen's University Belfast

Seminar Series: Kendra Cheruvelil, Michigan State University/Queen’s University Belfast

By EcoEvo@TCD | Seminars

Part of our series of posts by final-year undergraduate students for their Research Comprehension module. Students write blogs inspired by guest lecturers in our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series in the School of Natural Sciences. This week, views from Kate Purcell and Andrea Murray-Byrne on Kendra Cheruvelil’s seminar “Understanding multi-scaled relationships between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems”. (See Kendra’s blog about her trip to TCD). The Power of Knowledge As the old saying goes: “knowledge is power”. As scientists, a comprehensive understanding of that which we are studying is the key in enabling us to implement our research in a practical manner. From the perspective [&hellip

SoapBox Science Dublin!

SoapBox Science Dublin!

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

Are you a woman in science? Are you passionate about sharing your research with the public and increasing the profile of female scientists generally? Do you let out a sigh when these events are always arranged in London? Well sigh no more, this year SoapBox Science is expanding to other parts of the UK and excitingly, across the Irish Sea to Dublin, Ireland. We’re looking for speakers from across the island to join us on Saturday April 26th in Trinity College Dublin’s beautiful Front Square. We’re also looking for volunteers (of any gender) to help out with [&hellip

Science and Journalism

Science and Journalism

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

As scientists with access to hundreds of peer reviewed journals its easy to forget that we are a privileged bunch. We get to read science straight from the horse’s mouth without anyone to get between us and the research. Yet for the majority of people journals are hidden behind paywalls and even open access journals remain largely the domain of working scientists if for no other reason than reading scientific journal articles is hard work. They demand a high level of prior knowledge and often use terms that are completely meaningless to anyone outside their field. It’s [&hellip

Seminar Series: Fiona Doohan, University College Dublin

Seminar Series: Fiona Doohan, University College Dublin

By EcoEvo@TCD | Seminars

Part of our series of posts by final-year undergraduate students for their Research Comprehension module. Students write blogs inspired by guest lecturers in our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series in the School of Natural Sciences. This week, views from Gina McLoughlin and Joanna Mullen on Fiona Doohan’s seminar, “Plant-Microbe interactions – the good, the bad and the ugly” GM Crops Don’t Kill Genetically modified (GM) crops, are crops that have been modified using genetic engineering techniques to introduce certain qualities, or traits into a plant where they did not occur naturally. Usually, the genes for the desirable trait are taken [&hellip

NERD club transferrable skills: academic authorship and journal submissions

NERD club transferrable skills: academic authorship and journal submissions

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

We rolled out of bed on January 6th, 2014, with the somewhat comforting- but mostly jarring, give-me-a-cup-of-coffee-immediately-inducing- knowledge that the holiday season was over and it was time to get back to our normal schedules.  And that happily means everyone once again gathers for Nerd Club before lunch on Tuesdays.  Aided by left over boxes of Roses, the first Nerd Club meeting of 2014 kicked off with a transferrable skills session discussing the submission of papers and how to cope with the peer review process.  Many of the PhD students in the group (myself included) are working [&hellip

Killing in the Name of Science (Part 2): What About the Bunnies?

Killing in the Name of Science (Part 2): What About the Bunnies?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

  In my last post I wrote about the case for scientific whaling. I tried to be objective and leave moral and ethical considerations out of the discussion to focus solely on the science. Yet it is impossible to avoid these considerations for long. The use of animals in scientific research has a long history and has engendered debate for much of that time. Legislation to protect animals against being used in painful experiments was introduced back in the 19th Century through the Cruelty to Animals Act which became law in 1876. Amendments have been made to [&hellip

Seminar series: Tom Ezard, University of Southampton

Seminar series: Tom Ezard, University of Southampton

By EcoEvo@TCD | Seminars

Part of our series of posts by final-year undergraduate students for their Research Comprehension module. Students write blogs inspired by guest lecturers in our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series in the School of Natural Sciences. This week; views from Sarah Byrne and Sean Meehan on Tom Ezard’s seminar, Birth, death and macroevolutionary consequences. Splitting Hares – easier said than done? In a recent talk given by Tom Ezard, a research fellow and evolutionary ecologist, the definition of a species was examined and challenged. While defining a species may seem a simple task for just about anybody and [&hellip

A brave new world of monkeying around with trees

A brave new world of monkeying around with trees

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

I’ve spent the last few days writing an introduction for my first PhD paper on the practical issues of adding fossils to molecular phylogenies (full recipe here). This is my starting point: most people working in macroevolution agree that we should integrate fossils into modern phylogenetic trees. Of the many possible methods that are available, Ronquist’s total evidence method looks to be the most promising (however, some nice other ones also exist). Recently Schrago et al. published a nice attempt to use this method on the Plathyrrini (New-World monkeys to you and me): As a reminder, the [&hellip

Killing in the Name of Science (Part 1): The Science of Scientific Whaling

Killing in the Name of Science (Part 1): The Science of Scientific Whaling

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

“The research reported here involved lethal sampling of minke whales, which was based on a permit issued by the Japanese Government in terms of Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Reasons for the scientific need for this sampling have been stated both by the Japanese Government and by the authors.” With these words I realised I’d stumbled on that semi-mythical creature, a paper that was the result of scientific whaling. Scientific whaling, if you don’t know, is how the Japanese government justifies hunting whales. Whales have been hunted since time immemorial but [&hellip