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? https://youtu.be/3eFORbGoX_Y 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

With my new lab starting in Fall 2018, I am now interested in prospective graduate students and postdocs. More information on how to apply here. Below are some of my thoughts and advice on applying to graduate schools and being a graduate student. Check out this advice written by wiser people than me: Tips from Stephen … 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

Fixes to problems in science: 3 happening now, 3 unlikely to happen soon

I recently wrote about how both the incentive structures for academics and publishers can create problems for science. I posted it to twitter. I did not truly understand twitter until that day.  Visits to the post grew exponentially up to >8,000 visitors (and yes I fit the curve: R-squared= 0.97). Yikes. That's not a big deal for … Continue reading Fixes to problems in science: 3 happening now, 3 unlikely to happen soon

Goals of science vs Goals of scientists (& a love letter to PLOS One)

This monster post has been sitting on my computer hard-drive for a few months (seriously). For awhile, I was too scared to publish it. What I've written below is based on a (very) informal talk I gave at a graduate student seminar series at University of Maryland. To get the gist, the slides for that talk … Continue reading Goals of science vs Goals of scientists (& a love letter to PLOS One)

The scientific pleasures of ignorance (and other big picture stuff)

This blogpost grows out of a number of recent conversations about “science”-- what it is, how to do it, and why. Whenever my research involves truly boring, tedious things (like scoring hours of video footage), my mind starts to wander off to all kinds of  such philosophical things. Y’know, big picture stuff. (Not that big … Continue reading The scientific pleasures of ignorance (and other big picture stuff)