Archive for the ‘Perspectives’ Category

Seizing the new collaborator at scientific conferences

Seizing the new collaborator at scientific conferences

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Approaching established scientists is nerve wracking when you are just starting out in your own scientific career. It terrified me, but having done so successfully, it is now not so such an intimidating prospect. When I first went to science conferences as a new PhD student, my fellow early stage researchers and I used to award each other mingling points for having the confidence to break out of our trusted established circle and speak to people we had not met before. Knowing networking was a vital part of attending scientific meetings, we needed motivation to do more [&hellip

How to start a Ph.D (or how to try, at least)

How to start a Ph.D (or how to try, at least)

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

There are a lot of how-tos on the internet (Thanks Buzzfeed!). You can life-hack yourself into an efficient machine, but before my first day at TCD I couldn’t seem to find a good article to put my nerves at ease. Once you’ve applied and been accepted to grad school it seems like it should all be a bit relaxed, but the night before I started I was a bundle of nerves. There are a few articles that are helpful, like this one from Next Scientist, but most articles I found are pretty vague. Though this is not [&hellip

Top 10 Minor Assignment Mistakes that Grind my Gears (+1 bonus)

Top 10 Minor Assignment Mistakes that Grind my Gears (+1 bonus)

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

When grading assessments as a demonstrator, I try really hard to give helpful, constructive feedback. It’s important for everyone to learn from their mistakes and develop both as scientific thinkers and as writers. However, there are a few mistakes that happen very often and really grind my gears. If you want to impress your grader and improve your marks, avoid the mistakes below like the plague. Species notation. A species should be written this way: Genus species and abbreviated species. The italics are crucial. Please, do not misuse commas. A great brief on this can be found [&hellip

Freeing Willy: the $20 million failed experiment

Freeing Willy: the $20 million failed experiment

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

In 1993 Free Willy leapt onto cinema screens around the world. The story about a young boy who saves a killer whale from a run-down theme park was an instant hit for Warner Bros. However for Keiko, the whale who played Willy, the story did not have a Hollywood ending. While Willy jumped to freedom as the credits rolled, Keiko remained in captivity. What followed was a global effort to return Keiko to the wild at all costs, even to Keiko himself. Keiko, a male killer whale (Orcinus orca), was born in the North Atlantic off Iceland, [&hellip

Formally informal conferences

Formally informal conferences

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

  One of my favourite parts of working as a researcher during the summer (aside from quiet campuses with less students around) definitely has to be the “conference season”. Indeed, I don’t need to convince many people that conferences are one of the lively and exciting parts of doing science that rightly mix traveling, networking (and sometimes drinking) and learning about so many new things (and sometimes hangovers). One of the problems though is that they can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s hard to find a balance between the right amount of networking (how many friends/collaborators do I [&hellip

Making the most out of a post doc interview

Making the most out of a post doc interview

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Making the most out of a post doc interview (Even when you don’t get/want the job!) So you’ve just finished your PhD and sent out a frantic flurry of post doc applications, amidst all of the excitement, you’re invited to interview; how should you proceed?  Below are some of the things I learned from my first post doc interview recently:   A couple of weeks ago I embarked on a new first for me; my first interview! I grant you that it is unusual to be having one’s first interview at the age of 26; I had [&hellip

Room for one more?: Egg fostering in seabirds

Room for one more?: Egg fostering in seabirds

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

  When attempting to conserve a rare animal population sometimes every individual counts. Conservationists regularly go the extra mile to protect their study species. The conservation efforts implemented for the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) in Britain and Ireland demonstrate the success these efforts can have. This species nests on shingle beaches and had experienced catastrophic population declines due to increasing development and use of beaches by people. Little Tern adults are very vulnerable to disturbance and their eggs are particularly vulnerable to walker’s boots! Thankfully a network of wardened colonies, run by a mixture of conservation organisations [&hellip

The Evolution and Laboratory of the Technician.

The Evolution and Laboratory of the Technician.

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

First in a series of posts on life after an undergraduate degree, Alison Boyce gives an account of the life of a scientific technician. Science, engineering, and computing departments in universities employ technicians. Anyone working or studying in these areas will have dealt with a technician at some point but most will be unaware of a technician’s route into the position and their full role in education and research. Technical posts are varied e.g. laboratory, workshop, computer. Funding for technical support is afforded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to provide assistance in undergraduate teaching. This is [&hellip

The expanding tropics 

The expanding tropics 

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

It was a spring day in April 2004 when Qiang Fu first noticed the anomoly in the data. On either side of the equator – in a belt strecthing from 15 to 45 degrees latitude – the lower atmosphere was warming more than anywhere else on the planet. Fu, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, was stumped.   It wasn’t until a year later that Fu realized what he had discovered: evidence of a rapid expansion of the tropics, the region that encircles Earth’s waist like a green belt. The heart of the tropics [&hellip

The up-goer five: Explaining research using the

The up-goer five: Explaining research using the “ten hundred” most used words.

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

At today’s NERD club, we tried our hand at explain our research using the up-goer five, which limited our available vocabulary to the “ten-hundred” most common words (thousand isn’t one of them). After some brief hesitation, the 9 of us present found out that despite being quite challenging, this can be an incredibly fun and useful activity when it comes to explaining our often jargon-filled research to the public. While this system is rigid, and a tad extreme with words such as “plant” and “science” unavailable, it forced us to find alternative ways of explaining what we do.   [&hellip