Archive for April, 2014

Dying without wings: Part II

Dying without wings: Part II

By EcoEvo@TCD | News, Research

Last week our newest EcoEvo@TCD paper came out in PRSB  (it will be Open Access soon but currently it’s behind a pay wall – feel free to email me for a copy in the meantime. Code for the multiple PGLS models can be found here). This paper is exciting for me for two reasons – firstly because the science is really cool and secondly because of how it came about. In a previous post I explained the results of the paper. Today I want to focus on how it came about. The very first seminar I think [&hellip

Dying without wings* Part I

Dying without wings* Part I

By EcoEvo@TCD | News, Research

Last week our newest EcoEvo@TCD paper came out in PRSB (it will be Open Access soon but currently it’s behind a pay wall – feel free to email me for a copy in the meantime. Also code to fit multiple PGLS models can be found here). This paper is exciting for me for two reasons – firstly because the science is really cool, and secondly because of how it came about. Today I want to focus on the paper itself, and in my next post I will explain how this collaborative project started. People are fascinated by death, [&hellip

Soapbox Science Ireland

Soapbox Science Ireland

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

  Are you interested in science? From nano-materials to Martian landscapes, microbiology to neuroscience, immunology to ecology, chemistry to evolution, Soapbox Science Ireland has something for you. On the 26th of April (this Saturday!), Soapbox Science will join efforts with Trinity College Dublin’s Equality Fund and WiSER to transform Trinity’s Front Square into a hub of scientific learning and discussion. Some of Ireland’s leading female scientists take to their soapboxes to showcase science to the general public. The aim is to dispel the myth that scientists conform to the “mad (male) scientist” stereotype and to promote the [&hellip

The Easter bunny’s origins are linked with climate change

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

The Easter Bunny apparently originated in German Lutherans’ traditions before 1682 when it was first mentioned in von Franckenau’s De ovis paschalibus. In France and Belgium however, it’s not a rabbit that hides eggs in the garden for Easter morning but flying bells coming back from Rome (they went there for their holidays since the Maundy Thursday). For many people this makes no sense at all (flying bells, come on!) but on the other hand I think that a bunny carrying coloured eggs and hiding them does not make much more sense… However, the Easter bunny makes [&hellip

A Rose by Any Other Name

A Rose by Any Other Name

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Carl Linnaeus has a lot to answer for. As a young medical student he became obsessed with botany, then a necessity as most medicines were derived from plants. At the time the naming of plants was a rather haphazard affair, some names were given to multiple plants, others could be many words long. It all made for great confusion and difficulty disseminating information. In an attempt to manage the situation, in 1735 he published the first edition of his masterpiece of classification, the Systema Naturae. Most people remember this book as being the first time that plants [&hellip

Hopsolete Trees

Hopsolete Trees

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

One of the most unusual benefits of being in Ireland from a Southern French PhD student’s perspective is not so much the rain and the pronounced taste for culinary oddities (some weird, some excellent) but the awesome trend towards a new age of craft beers (and I’m not mentioning the pillar of Irish pub culture). Looking at the increasing beer richness available in any decent pub/off-licence, I was inspired to combine two of my passions: beer-related stuff and phylogeny-related stuff. Despite an honourable attempt by J.L. Brown, I would like to discuss the three reasons why it’s [&hellip

And to the victor the spoiled

And to the victor the spoiled

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Reviews

Sometimes something is so obvious we forget to wonder why; why do our fingers resemble prunes when we over-extend our bath time, why don’t humans have a penis bone (stop sniggering in the back please and have a look at these fascinating links) and why do prunes rot when the very propose of fruit is to be eaten? I’m guessing that for the last one you might say that fruit rots because all the bacteria have decided that you have overlooked the healthy option for the biscuits one too many times and so have decided to chow down. However [&hellip

Kapapo, Kereru and Kaka, Oh My!

Kapapo, Kereru and Kaka, Oh My!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Before I moved to New Zealand birds were, well, birds. They were nice to see but I didn’t pay them much attention. But New Zealand is a bird paradise and as a biology student (I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of Auckland) birds were the go-to exemplar of many biological concepts. With understanding often comes interest and I found myself increasingly interested in our avian friends, an interest which has stayed with me to this day. New Zealand is a unique landmass. It comprises two main islands (imaginatively named the North and South Islands) [&hellip