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Category Archives: career

Live, work, be passionate

While eating my morning toast (with saskatoon jam!) and tea I ran into what seems to be a perennial conversation on science Twitter. Specifically: how much time should a student put into their research and related studies and how much into the rest of their lives? This is a good question, and there are at […]

Getting out

For various reasons, over this past summer I have had the opportunity to get out into the field much more than usual – rivaling the amount of time that I was in the field during my Ph.D. studies. While I generally do ensure that I go out several times in any given summer, the frequency […]

Should I pursue this major?

A few days ago one of the academic advisors here at my institution sent me a letter in which a student asked about the utility of a biology B.Sc. I mulled it over in my head for a few days and then responded with (edited a bit to preserve anonymity and for better clarity) the […]

Email paralysis?

Science can not operate in a vacuum for very long, and substantial scientific progress is only possible when communication between scientists is efficient and effective. This has always been the case – scientists have always communicated in person at conferences and across distances through letters. Recently, of course, the rate of information exchange has increased […]

Searching for a promising scholar

Are you deeply interested in insect ecology? Are you excited about exploring the intersection of plant defenses and insect overwintering survival using both traditional field work and cutting-edge molecular tools? Would you like to do your graduate degree research at a small, research-intensive university in a great community surrounded in all directions by forests? Are […]

My Voyage(er)

What were you doing on 25 August 2012? Now think back (those of you who were even born then), and tell me what you were doing on 5 September 1977. In my case, last year on 25 August my family and some friends were hiking in the Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper National […]


I have seen a lot of job advertisements in my academic life. Near the end of my Ph.D. studies and then during both postdoctoral stints, I kept huge lists of bookmarks for academic internet job bulletin boards and HR departments at a swath of universities. Even today I still pay attention to job ads (some […]

First week… and beyond

The quiet halls of a university summer have metamorphosed – suddenly, as they always do – into the exciting clamor of the first week of classes. It is great to see so many students back for another year of learning. And, of course, it’s great to welcome new students to our campus for what will […]


About a week ago, I fired up Twitter in the evening to see what sort of interesting links my various contacts had posted during the day. As you would expect, due to my professional interests, I follow a fair number of academics ranging from undergraduates to graduate students to postdocs to professors. Many of them […]

Open data

by Dezene Huber and Paul Fields, reblogged from the ESC-SEC Blog. Have you ever read a paper and, after digesting it for a bit, thought: “I wish I could play with the data”? Perhaps you thought that another statistical test was more appropriate for the data and would provide a different interpretation than the one […]