Archive for September, 2014

Un-reclaiming the name - I am not a zoologist

Un-reclaiming the name – I am not a zoologist

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

[Disclaimer – this is just my opinion. I do not speak for everyone at EcoEvo@TCD] Recently on Twitter there has been a call to “reclaim the name” of Botany accompanied with the hashtag: #iamabotanist. The response has been really cool – lots of different scientists working on different questions have posted pictures of themselves on Twitter, often with their plants. It’s amazing the diversity of researchers out there who identify as botanists. But why try to reclaim the name Botany? The issue is that Botany as a discipline is seen as rather old-school and irrelevant to current [&hellip

PhD students and the cult of busy

PhD students and the cult of busy

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

  Academics often remind me of the Four Yorkshire Men in the old sketch (not actually originally a Monty Python sketch, but famously performed by them in their live shows – comedy nerd out over, carry on), except rather than trying to outdo each with how deprived we were as kids, we’re always trying to outdo each other with tales of how busy we are. We do it so often that it becomes hard to draw the line between how much this reflects how busy we really are, and how much is just “bragging” to assert how [&hellip

Night Life! Friday 26th Sept

Night Life! Friday 26th Sept

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

This Friday, members of EcoEvo@TCD, as well as others from the Botany and Zoology departments and Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research will present Night Life! in the Zoology building at Trinity College Dublin. The event is FREE to attend and we will be open from 6pm-10pm with the last entry at 9.30pm. Night Life! is an opportunity to meet researchers and to find out the kinds of things we do. Prof. Yvonne Buckley will give you a taste of our research highlights, Kevin Healy will wow you with his research on snake venom (yes there will be [&hellip

Creationism in Science Fiction: Artistic freedom or anti-science?

Creationism in Science Fiction: Artistic freedom or anti-science?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

In the late 90s and early 2000s science fiction fans such as myself had a bit of a hard time. As happy as I was when the last few years brought, amongst others, the amazingly crafted science fiction spectacles Battlestar Galactica (2004) and the long anticipated Alien prequel Prometheus (2012), the more disappointed I became when I realised that both events based their storylines heavily on creationism. Now one might argue that these are works of art and therefore subject to artistic freedom, and generally I do agree. But then again, that wouldn’t be much of a blog [&hellip

Learning the art of conferencing

Learning the art of conferencing

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

The start of the new academic year marks the end of my second conference season. I attended two conferences; Evolution 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina and the British Ecological Society Macroecology meeting at the University of Nottingham. They were at the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size and specificity but they were both interesting, useful and, most surprisingly for me, enjoyable. The difference is that I knew what to expect. Last summer was my first taste of conferences along with the intellectual and social stamina required to last through a day of talks, coffee [&hellip

Gender balanced conferences - we all need to try harder!

Gender balanced conferences – we all need to try harder!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Recently a conference on Phylogenetic Comparative Methods was advertised online, and quickly the Twitter community noted that all six of the plenary talks were being given by men. Normally my response to this kind of thing would be some grumpy tweeting and then I’d let it go. However, this time was different; I know one of the organisers, several of the plenary speakers are my collaborators and this is the field I’ve dedicated the last eight years of my career to. Therefore I didn’t think I could let this pass by unchallenged. I emailed the organisers to [&hellip

We're back!

We’re back!

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

It’s that time of year again, the quiet before the storm of Fresher’s week and the start of a new academic year. After our short break, EcoEvo@TCD is back and raring to go. You can expect lots more posts about our research, seminar series, outreach activities, conferences and fieldwork as well as tips and tricks for surviving in academia. We’ve already kicked off the year with our second annual NERD club AGM. It was a great opportunity to discuss what we covered throughout the year and to make plans for the months ahead. (For the uninitiated, NERD club [&hellip