Sunday, August 30, 2015

Women in Science

In reading about one of my new heros: Viripi Luumma of the University of Sheffield and pre-industrial Finn dataset fame - I ran across this inspiring post from the Guaridan I wanted to share!

 Inspiring women in science and technology – your pictures

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What is it like to film bats in caves?

If you have ever seen the amazing footage of bats leaving or entering caves you might have been curious what it is like to flim thousands of animals all flying around your camera? 

Today I saw a great video on this topic and was excited to share it here.  What makes it extra special is that in addition to great images of bats in the wild and in a wind-tunnel the person explaining everything is someone who's presentations and videos I've seen before.  AMAZING STUFF!

Interviewed is Nickolay Hristov from Winston-Salem State University.  Read about some of his ongoing projects by clicking this (link).

From Hristov's STEM page I thought this was a great list of questions that have been addressed in bats using high-speed video recording

"Questions scientists have answered by filming bats in high-speed:

  • How do individual bats move within a group?
  • How bats use their wings to fly?
  • What is the speed of a group of bats?
  • Do bats hit or touch each other in a group
  • How close are bats when they emerge from a cave?"
From 'Science Fridays' Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Distractingly Sexy!

A Twitter Storm hit the internet in response to a comment from Tim Hunt of U. College London who has since lost his job over the comment.

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry."  

Distractingly sexy pipetting at Organ Pipe Cactus National Park 
A few links are below if you were not witness to the storm:

Distractingly sexy (note 'wink' shirt) karyotyping in Panama.

Female scientists post 'distractingly sexy' photos

New White Nose Syndrome fact sheet out (2015)

*Hot off the press--

You can read the new White Nose Syndrome (WNS) fact sheet here.

Impacted : 7 species including of which are 2 endangered 

Still no disease has been seen in tree bats and a few others that have been found with the fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans).

(*I will  try to look into this last aspect more for future blogs as understanding how/why certain species may not be exhibiting disease is key for ascertaining the impacts of the fungus).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The secret of the bat genome TED talk (Emma Teeling)

Another Ted talk this one on what the genome of bats can tell us about bat evolution.

Below the talk can also be accessed by clicking this (Link)

From the Ted website:
"In Western society, bats are often characterized as creepy, even evil. Zoologist Emma Teeling encourages us to rethink our attitude toward bats, whose unique and fascinating biology gives us insight into our own genetic makeup. (Filmed at TEDxDublin.)"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why do ambitious women have flat heads? Ted Talk

A nice new Ted Talk by Dame Stephanie Shirley.


From the Ted website:

"Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women …"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the myth(s) about women in science

New article about women in the sciences:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Human echolocation - 'seeing' like a bat

An intersting podcast/article on human echolocation and 'What is it like to be a bat' was published in Nature News recently (here). 


What is it like to be a bat?

Bat ecologists have made it their life’s work to find out, philosophers argue we may never understand, and one blind woman knows better than anyone. In the first episode of Audiofile, Nature’s new sound science series, find out how much we can really know about what it’s like to be a bat, and what it tell us about the limits of human perception.

This is the first podcast from the new Audiofile - and is quite nice.  I except if you check back there will soon be more podcasts relating to sound (here).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Whale communication

Whale communication is known to be diverse and eleaborate and at the Smithsonian they have found: diet, hearing and bones (inner ear and jaw) all lead to whales communicating as they do.

Check out this intersting video from BBC today:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Drosophila boogie

It is high time to update a bit on the lab work I've been doing with fruit flies.  First and formost fly work is fairly time demanding because they are constantly growing, reproducing and thus need a lot of care.  To start things out let me introduce their larvae in the form a a video.  Here they are on agar/fruit juice plates eatting and as you might suppose - growing!

(*Note I am in the process of changing the larvae video-> please check back!)
I've decided they are rather cute and thus I'll include the David Bowie music video that I think fits their movements well!

Friday, March 20, 2015

I love the Sonoran Desert - oh and Sonoran Desert rodent diet paper accepted for publication

Still more research news but not about bats (granted I am making preparations to go to the field soon)....

I am excited to report that my paper on Sonoran Desert rodent diets is accepted for publication and will be published by the journal Oecologia

This paper reports my findings using stable isotopes of Carbon to track the use of cacti and other plants such as grasses (C3 plants) by several different species of rodents.  Research was done at the amazingly beautiful Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument that boasts beautiful cacti and many migrant bird species.

It is exciting to know this work will be published and we even suggested a really cool photo for the cover showing woodrat (Neotoma) tunnels chewed into a saguaro cactus.  Fingers crossed!

You can see the location of the ecosystem classified as Sonoran below.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Freshman Research Initiative at UT Austin

Description (from UT): The Freshman Research Initiative offers first year students the opportunity to initiate and engage in authentic research experiences in chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology, molecular biology, physics, astronomy and computer sciences while being supported and mentored by faculty and graduate students.

The FRI creates new scientists like no program before it and at a scale that has never been attempted. It provides an authentic research experience and all its benefits to a large number of students early in their careers. It completely transforms students' lives by empowering them to conduct and contribute to modern science—design experiments, perform data analyses and publish peer-reviewed papers—as freshmen. They start becoming innovators their first year.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Climb UP - How to Raise a Girl Scientist | Meg Lowman | TEDxLivermore

Ted talk on women in science titled Climb UP - How to Raise a Girl Scientist.

By Meg Lowman | TEDxLivermore

Science... it's a girl thing

I haven't decided how I feel about this ad that cause a big stir.  You tell me!

Here is one reply
And another:

What is sperm storage!? TREE paper accepted. AND we had a letter in response that got us thinking! See our reply online!!

July 2015**Update: our paper is out and we have engaged in a discussion with Marques, Garcia, and Ames.  See their letter here and ours here!

Exciting news is that my favorite journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution lovingly known as just 'TREE' by many just accepted my paper written with my postdoc adviser about sperm storage and how it is defined!
Look for it in May (online at least).  Keep your eyes here and it should show up...

While you wait the main take home messages:

  • Sperm storage is ubiquitous in internal fertilizing animals.
  • To understand the evolution of sperm storage we must study adaptations that result from selection on males separate from those that result from selection on females.
  • Adaptations for sperm storage in males can facilitate sperm storage inside the females.
  • Careful consideration of different criteria to demonstrate sperm storage will allow for more comparative studies.
  • We suggest a sperm storage index that will inform such evolutionary studies.