New paper on analyzing animal social networks

My former postdoc advisor, Damien Farine, and I have a new paper entitled Permutation tests for hypothesis testing with animal social network data: problems and potential solutions. There is some debate around the topic of using permutation tests for hypothesis-testing with network data, so I’ll write a bit about that here from my own perspective. My thoughts … Continue reading New paper on analyzing animal social networks

Podcast interview

There are a growing number of bat fanatics around the world! The new podcast "Give Bats a Podcast" interviews people who work in bat research and conservation. It can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc or here: I was featured on the latest episode "Episode 4: "Friends don't let friends die". We talk … Continue reading Podcast interview

Do bats sniff out their roosts? Lessons for understanding the role of uncertainty in science

A common misunderstanding perpetuated in most grade schools is that science is about “facts”.  Contrary to popular belief, working scientists don’t talk much about facts. They talk about questions, hypotheses, models, and possible experiments. They say things like, “Here’s how you could really demonstrate that” or “Here’s what we found” more often than “These are … Continue reading Do bats sniff out their roosts? Lessons for understanding the role of uncertainty in science

Creating a lab culture that encourages innovation

Postdoc Simon Ripperger gave a presentation at our virtual lab meeting this week on “design thinking and social innovation”. Innovation is a critical driver for the success of most organizations. Many large companies spend significant time and money trying to understand how to develop cultures and incentive structures that foster innovation. Companies like Google do … Continue reading Creating a lab culture that encourages innovation

New paper on bats using echolocation to identify each other

For echolocating bats, each bat is almost always producing biosonar pulses as it "looks" around. So when bats are flying or roosting in the same place, do they recognize the voices of all the bats nearby? Do they have an omnidirectional mental ‘image’ of who is around them at all times? Here's a closeup … Continue reading New paper on bats using echolocation to identify each other

Proximity sensors, preprints, and grants

Simon Ripperger will be joining our team this summer in Panama. Simon recently published the first paper on his new method for sampling dynamic social networks of whole groups of bats in the field. The paper in Biology Letters is entitled "Proximity sensors on common noctule bats reveal evidence that mothers guide juveniles to roosts … Continue reading Proximity sensors, preprints, and grants

Behaviour17 Conference

Scientific conferences are some of the biggest highlights of my year. I just attended the Behavior2017 Conference in the beautiful seaside town of Estoril, Portugal. I'm still early enough in my scientific career that when I attend a conference, I often meet, for the first time, people whose work I've read. Public speaking is always … Continue reading Behaviour17 Conference

Some advice for grad students

Advice from experienced and successful scientists: Tips from Stephen Stearns (if link fails, try here) Tips from John Thompson (if link fails, try here) Tim Clutton-Brock on  applying for grants and fellowship applications Young Scientist Survival Kit How to Be a Graduate Advisee, by Indira Raman On choosing a graduate program Rather than basing your decision on the … Continue reading Some advice for grad students

Reciprocity before Trivers

"New" ideas are rarely new. In science we stand on the shoulders of giants and whenever I read the works of the giants, I often find that many ideas or discoveries-- that I thought were "mine" or belonged to some more recent author-- were actually first described by Darwin or some other author from long … Continue reading Reciprocity before Trivers