Thursday, October 24, 2013

Batologist or Chiropterologist if you will- and I am!

Oh Wiktionary... how you make me smile.

Little did I know that words all us crazy bat biologists use might be found online... explained!

All you Batologists out there let me know... any other words you think folks should know?  Any changes you see needed here?  Who is your favorite Batologist?


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Chiroptera +‎ -ologist


chiropterologist (plural chiropterologists)
  1. Someone who studies bats (the flying mammal).  [quotations ▲]
    • 2001, Kathleen Meyer, Barefoot Hearted: A Wild Life Among Wildlife, Villard (2001), ISBN 9780375504389, page 88:
      Several years later, after reading three of his books on bats, I placed a call to the venerable chiropterologist Dr. M. Brock Fenton, known as the "batman" of York University in Toronto.
      *Comment from this blogger- I know Dr. Fenton and he is ABSOLUTELY wonderful and is most certainly a good example of a chiropterologist!*



Related terms



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Etymology 1

From Ancient Greek βάτος (batos, bramble) +‎ -ologist.


batologist (plural batologists)
  1. A botanist who studies the genus Rubus.  [quotations ▲]
    • 1898, Journal of Botany, vol. 36:
      The brambles were backward this season, and I could do little with them ; but I am sure that this part of Ireland is a good hunting-ground for the batologist.

Etymology 2

From bat +‎ -ologist.


batologist (plural batologists)
  1. (colloquial or humorous) Someone who studies bats (the flying mammal).

mini SICB (regional DVM/DCB)

I am mid getting ready for the joint DVM/DCB (Division of Vertebrate Morphology/Division of Comparative Biomechanics) Northeast Regional SICB meeting.  SICB is the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (link).  The 'big' SICB happens in January and this year it will be in Austin, Texas which is exciting (warm weather in January- big fun conference...)!  SICB is a fun group because people who study lots of different animals get together to discuss everything from behavior to physiology and morphology.  There are lots of different 'divisions' in SICB with most people involved with at least 2.  I think I'm in 3 or so... DVM, DCPB (or is it DPCB ?? see below) and DAB (Division of Animal Behavior). They don't have DM (division of mammals) nor do the have a DC (division of Chiropterologists- (people who study bats)).

From the SICB website (red text is my emphasis.... I am curious: is there anyone affiliated with all or all but one of these?!  I will investigate- worry not!)

"Divisions of SICB

Members are allowed to choose affiliations with as many divisions as they wish.

At the regional meeting of us 'northeasteners' (which I guess now includes me- I'll work on embracing that drastic change) I will be presenting my work with bats with a focus exciting images I am getting from Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).  I look forward to some exciting updates for you but for right now I can only say that I'm busy getting my power point (talk) wrapped up.  Currently, this means making what is a 10 minute talk into a 5 minute talk!  I guess having lots to say is better than the alternative.

*Bear with me- as I wouldn't usually post a Dave Matthew's Band video-- but this one is in my head...and is so appropriate but careful!  It's sticky!

"Joint DVM/DCB Northeastern Regional Meeting 2013

The 2013 joint DVM/DCM Northeast Regional SICB meeting will be held at Yale University on Saturday, October 26, 2013.

The meeting will be hosted by Yale's Department of Geology and Geophysics, in New Haven, Connecticut. Following last year's successful format, students and faculty will deliver 5-minute general session talks that will be interspersed with a handful of 10-minute talks with a broader focus, with ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

Lunch and snacks will be included in the registration fee, and we anticipate convening at a nearby pub for a post-meeting celebration.

Please visit the link below for more information:"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More 'post shutdown' information

From Jeffrey Mervis a post on the AAAS website "At the National Science Foundation (NSF), the shutdown forced the cancellation of 98 review panels involving 811 scientists, acting NSF Director Cora Marrett told reporters during a teleconference today." (link)

And what about Antarctic research?  Things are not looking good (link).

In any case general information can be found here (link). 

"Resumption of Operations at the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is emerging from a 16-day funding lapse that severely limited our ability to conduct our mission to advance the progress of science and engineering. This page provides guidance regarding the resumption of operations at NSF following the shutdown. NSF will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. General shutdown questions should be directed to the Policy Office in the Division of Institution & Award Support at

Friday, October 18, 2013

Science is back! So listen to some AC DC!

After 16 days of shutdown is back.

Yes- things (mostly websites) are back- up and running...
for example:

the same goes for NIH, NOAA etc.

Judge me if you will but the song 'Back in Black' is running through my mind...

As great as it is and as much as I'd love to stay in the AC/DC 'mood' not all the truth is that not everything is going to be immediately okay and some damage is permanent.

There are for example long term studies that have been ruined by the the shutdown or time-sensitive research that was unable to occur.  
For example: what about Antarctic researchers?

“With the partial government shutdown now ended, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will restore the planned 2013-14 austral summer U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) activities to the maximum extent possible.”  Posted on the NSF website

NSF is asking for patience as it gets things back up and running (see Cora Marrett's memo):

"In an Important Notice to the community, I described some of the effects of the funding lapse on our activities and asked for patience and support as we focus on the actions necessary to restart NSF activities. Additional detailed guidance on assistance and contract-related policy and systems issues will be provided to you, as well as the community, as soon as possible. These communications will help us set expectations for both ourselves and the community as we recover from the shutdown and transition to normal operations. A copy of the Important Notice is attached.
It will take time and extra effort to work through the backlog of activities. We are establishing priorities that will enable us to resume normal operations as quickly as possible while minimizing extra burden on our already hardworking staff. It’s important for us in this timeframe to focus on re-establishing core functions, such as receiving, reviewing and awarding/declining proposals, as well as oversight and management of existing awards. We will strive for consistency in extending deadlines and addressing other delays or cancellations caused by the shutdown. We will also consider the impact of our actions on other NSF offices engaged in start-up operations and foster creative solutions, consistent with NSF policy, to recover operations and activities impacted by the shutdown."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NSF website shut down - but fear not!


As part of the Government shut down scientists funded by NSF and NIH may have had the same response when they found that the National Science Foundation's website is truly down (see below).  Read more here.

I'm thrilled I saw the Science article because it refers folks to Dr. Brian O'Meara's website (phew!)

Just in case I wasn't already tremendously impressed with Dr. O'Meara's stunning Evolutionary research I must now attest that he is surely a lifesaver for many a frantic graduate student as well as others needing access to documents once housed on the website.  Also thank you as well Jim Austin of Science (editor of Science Careers. @SciCareerEditor on Twitter) for this tip!

Regarding deadlines: as O'Meara suggests " if it were me, I'd prepare everything for the original deadline just in case."

"From (
National Science Foundation - Where Discoveries Begin
Due to the lapse in government funding, National Science Foundation websites and business applications, including, FastLane, and will be unavailable until further notice. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.  
Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at
In cases of imminent threat to life or property, please call the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-428-2189.

Important Guidance for the Proposer and Awardee community can be found below.

This guidance addresses the various assistance and contract-related policy and systems issues that may arise during the shutdown of the Federal Government. NSF is providing this information as a service to our proposer and awardee communities as well as our contractors in the hopes that it will address most of the questions you may have during this time period.
Please be aware that, except as noted below, NSF will not be available to respond to emails or phone calls during the shutdown, but will respond to your inquiries as soon as practicable after normal operations have been resumed. NSF is committed to minimizing the negative impacts this disruption may have on the science and engineering enterprise and, as necessary, will issue follow-on guidance after the shutdown ends.

Assistance - Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Proposal Preparation & Submission
  • No new funding opportunities (program descriptions, announcements or solicitations) will be issued.
  • FastLane proposal preparation and submission will be unavailable.
  • may be up and running, however, since FastLane will not be operating, proposal downloads from Grants.govwill not take place. Therefore proposals will not be checked for compliance with NSF proposal preparation requirements or processed until normal operations are allowed to resume.
Impact on Existing Deadlines
  • Once normal operations resume, NSF will issue guidance regarding any funding opportunities that have a deadline or target date that occurs during the government shutdown. Such information will be disseminated via a FastLane Advisory and other electronic methods.
Proposal Review Process
  • All panels scheduled to occur during the shutdown will be cancelled and will likely be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Ad hoc reviews will not be able to be submitted via FastLane.
Proposal Processing Time
  • The Foundation may not be able to meet our customer service standard of informing applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months of the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later.
Issuance of New Grants and Cooperative Agreements
  • No new grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded.
Issuance of Continuing Grant Increments (CGIs)
  • No new CGIs (whether electronically released upon Program Officer acceptance of the Annual Project Report or approved by a Grants and Agreements Officer) will be awarded.

Post-Award Administration

Performance of Work
  • Awardees may continue performance under their NSF awards during the shutdown, to the extent funds are available, and the term of the grant or cooperative agreement has not expired. Any expenses must be allowable and in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cost circulars. During the shutdown, NSF cannot authorize costs exceeding available award amounts or obligate additional funds to cover such costs.
  • No payments will be made during the shutdown.
Project Reporting
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) will be unable to submit annual and final project reports or project outcomes reports via For continuing grants, awardees also should be aware that since annual project reports will not be able to be submitted and Program Officers will not be available to approve them, no new continuing grant increments will be awarded (see above). Awardees should submit their reports as soon as possible after NSF systems are available.
No-Cost Extensions
  • No-cost extensions (including awardee-approved and NSF-approved) will not be able to be submitted or processed.
  • Awardees, therefore, are cautioned that Federal funds cannot be obligated for expenses that occur beyond the award expiration date.
    Award Transfer Requests will not be able to be submitted or processed.
    Supplemental Funding Requests will not be able to be submitted or processed.
    Other Post Award Notifications & Requests will not be able to be submitted or processed.

Cooperative Agreements in Support of Large Facilities

  • Recipients may continue to perform under Cooperative Support Agreements for work where sufficient funds are available, and performance does not require Government support which would be funded by a lapsed appropriation, including quality assurance oversight or other actions required of NSF staff.
  • Since the cooperative nature of these Agreements anticipates the need for Government involvement, NSF has, or will have, put work plans in place with the Large Facility Cooperative Agreement Recipients outlining the extent and time duration that operations will continue in the absence of NSF oversight and direction.
  • For Agreements that include major research equipment and facilities construction, unless the work is considered to be essential to the operations of the Foundation, and therefore NSF personnel have been retained to provide oversight of construction activities, work cannot proceed for an extended period, even if funds are available, based on the foreseen need for NSF oversight of construction activities.
  • No payments will be made during the shutdown.


  • NSF will notify contractors whether they will be expected to continue work in support of an excepted activity, or will issue an order to suspend or stop work, or take other appropriate action during the shutdown as determined by NSF.
  • New contracts will not be issued during a shutdown, except those that NSF has identified as supporting excepted activities, and then only to the extent and amount necessary to meet those requirements.
  • Contract personnel may be instructed by NSF to excepted activities, provided all of the requirements governing excepted activities are met. Contractors may perform these excepted services, but only to the minimal extent necessary to address emergency situations, such that the suspension of the function would imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.
  • Contractors may be authorized by NSF to continue to perform under other contracts for work where sufficient funding was obligated prior to the shutdown, provided performance does not require the use of closed NSF facilities, is not in support of closed NSF facilities, or where the contractor's work does not require Government oversight or support which would be funded by a lapsed appropriation (such Government oversight or support includes, but is not limited to quality assurance oversight, technical direction, review of deliverables, or similar actions requiring NSF staff).
  • NSF may notify certain cost reimbursement and Time and Materials contractors of work plans outlining the extent and time duration that operations can continue in the absence of NSF oversight and direction.
  • No payments will be made during the shutdown. An extremely limited exception may be made by NSF in circumstances where the payment is made in support of excepted activities, and failure to make the payment itself would result in an imminent threat to life or property.
Excepted Personnel
  • The Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support has assigned Contracting Officers to support contract-related excepted activities during the shutdown."

olinguito!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! new species of carnivore found

It doesn't happen often (maybe only once every 30 years or so) but a new species of Carnivoran has been discovered!

Called an olinguito (Spanish for 'little olingo')...or more properly : Bassaricyon neblina this little guy is from South America.  And is closely related to other members of the raccoon family (Procyonidae).  While specimens were in the Field Museum for years it was only recently that it was given attention.  It was assumed that these little guys were the same species as closely related Olingos (same genus).  Kristofer Helgenran et al. ran DNA analyses to determine if this was indeed a 'good' species.  Now known from the wild (vs. dusty drawers of museums only) this little furball has made quite a splash!

Read the paper here:
Helgen, K.M., Pinto, M., Kays, R, Helgen, L., Tsuchiya, M., Quinn, A., Wilson, D., Maldonado, J. (2013). Taxonomic revision of the olingos (Bassaricyon), with description of a new species, the Olinguito. ZooKeys 324: 1–83. doi:10.389
The now famous Olinguito.  Let us suppose: basking in its ability to remain elusive for oh so many years....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Zoochosis Evolution! Fail lab- locomotion and evolution.

This video came to my attention recently and it's pretty fun/funny.  Here we learn about maximal sprint speed in association with an unfortunate human bicyclist and an seemingly aggressive ungulate.

Cast includes UCR biology professor Dr. Theodore Jr. Garland (re-from my alma mater)!

The show is interesting with a unique way to present science.   What do you think?

From their website: "Fail Lab is an irreverent new science series from filmmaker Patrick Scott, creator of the viral production company Zoochosis. Watch each week as the top minds in science dig deep to reveal the hidden lessons and wonders in the world's best fail videos."