Archive for June, 2014

Seminar series highlights: Phil Stevenson

Seminar series highlights: Phil Stevenson

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Seminars

As mentioned previously on the blog, Andrew Jackson and I started a new module this year called “Research Comprehension”. The module revolves around our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series and the continuous assessment for the module is in the form of blog posts discussing these seminars. We posted a selection of these earlier in the term, but now that the students have had their final degree marks we wanted to post the blogs with the best marks. This means there are more blog posts for some seminars than for others, though we’ve avoided reposting anything we’ve posted [&hellip

Seminar series highlights: Fiona Doohan

Seminar series highlights: Fiona Doohan

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Seminars

As mentioned previously on the blog, Andrew Jackson and I started a new module this year called “Research Comprehension”. The module revolves around our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series and the continuous assessment for the module is in the form of blog posts discussing these seminars. We posted a selection of these earlier in the term, but now that the students have had their final degree marks we wanted to post the blogs with the best marks. This means there are more blog posts for some seminars than for others, though we’ve avoided reposting anything we’ve posted [&hellip

Dig for victory

Dig for victory

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

In a previous post I showed what I think being a palaeontologist is all about, especially the point that palaeontologists are different from oryctologists. The first ones study changes of biodiversity through time, the second ones extract fossils (but again, both are far from exclusive). Here is a short summary of  experience working at Upper Cretaceous excavation sites in the South of France (that’s around 80-65 million years old) namely in the Bellevue excavation site in Esperaza run by the Musée des Dinosaures. First step is to find a place to dig. Why along the road? It doesn’t have to be but [&hellip

Seminar series highlights: Amy Pederson and Christine Maggs

Seminar series highlights: Amy Pederson and Christine Maggs

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Seminars

As mentioned previously on the blog, Andrew Jackson and I started a new module this year called “Research Comprehension”. The module revolves around our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series and the continuous assessment for the module is in the form of blog posts discussing these seminars. We posted a selection of these earlier in the term, but now that the students have had their final degree marks we wanted to post the blogs with the best marks. This means there are more blog posts for some seminars than for others, though we’ve avoided reposting anything we’ve posted [&hellip

The Biology of Godzilla

The Biology of Godzilla

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Warning: minor spoilers ahead!   He’s back! Originally a metaphor for the horrors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a heavily censored post-war Japan, Godzilla become a cultural icon whose name is known across the world. His latest incarnation is in Gareth Edward’s film which I saw on its opening weekend. And as a biologist I can’t help but watch with an eye towards the plausibility of the gigantic reptile and his opponents. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, like Edward’s previous film Monsters, care had been taken to ensure that the titular creature [&hellip

Seminar series highlights: Fred Marion-Poll

Seminar series highlights: Fred Marion-Poll

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Seminars

As mentioned previously on the blog, Andrew Jackson and I started a new module this year called “Research Comprehension”. The module revolves around our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series and the continuous assessment for the module is in the form of blog posts discussing these seminars. We posted a selection of these earlier in the term, but now that the students have had their final degree marks we wanted to post the blogs with the best marks. This means there are more blog posts for some seminars than for others, though we’ve avoided reposting anything we’ve posted [&hellip

What is(n’t) palaeontology like?

What is(n’t) palaeontology like?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

After rereading Sive’s excellent blog post on what is a zoologist or at least what is it like to study it, I remember having a slightly similar difficulty in explaining my background in palaeontology. Reactions range from: “Oh… Palaeontology? That’s like the origins of humans and stuff?” or “So you go on excavations and find ancient Roman pottery?” to “Bheuuh, want another beer?”. What frustrated me is that none of these reactions are correct but neither are they totally incorrect (especially the last one!). Palaeontology is not archaeology Most people that have only a vague idea of what [&hellip

Seminar series highlights: John Hutchinson

Seminar series highlights: John Hutchinson

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Seminars

As mentioned previously on the blog, Andrew Jackson and I started a new module this year called “Research Comprehension”. The module revolves around our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series and the continuous assessment for the module is in the form of blog posts discussing these seminars. We posted a selection of these earlier in the term, but now that the students have had their final degree marks we wanted to post the blogs with the best marks. This means there are more blog posts for some seminars than for others, though we’ve avoided reposting anything we’ve posted [&hellip

The Wakatobi Flowerpecker: the reclassification of a bird species and why it matters

The Wakatobi Flowerpecker: the reclassification of a bird species and why it matters

By EcoEvo@TCD | News, Research

I posted previously about my PhD research studying bird populations from the tropical and biodiversity-rich region of Sulawesi, Indonesia. I am happy to announce that the first paper as part of this research has just been published in the open access journal PLOS ONE. To read the full paper for free, click here. This work is a collaborative effort from staff in the Department of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin and Haluoleo University in Sulawesi. Here, I’d like to discuss the wider importance of the findings of this study. My current research focuses on bird populations from [&hellip

Are men really better than women?

Are men really better than women?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

When you imagine a scientist, what do you imagine? The first image that I see, despite never having seen it in real life (thankfully!), is the traditional “mad scientist”. The white lab-coat, crazy hair, glasses or goggles, holding a flask or test tube containing some dangerous-looking substance. This scientist is, inevitably, male (and white, but that’s a subject for another day). The lack of women in science has become a cause for concern for many people. Discussions of how to fix the “leaky pipe”, where female students are lost at a disproportionately higher rate than their male [&hellip