Posts tagged “Science”

Science-ese (with implications)

The AoB blog reports on a study that shows many plants that normally germinate in the spring could start germinating in the autumn as climate changes: Emergence in autumn could have major implications for species currently adapted to emerge in spring. Translation: All the baby plants are going to freeze.

While you’re waiting for the bus

The enormous cost of propping of the banks was justified by the refrain “too big to fail.” You know what’s really too big to fail? Ecosystems. Zen Faulkes wonders about the constant pressure to explain the relevance of your science: People love all sorts of things that aren’t relevant to them apart from their own […]

Science-ese (slight understatement edition)

From Sambaraju et al. 2011: Abundant availability of host trees due to altered disturbance regimes has facilitated an unprecedented, landscape-wide outbreak of this pest in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, during the past decade. Translation: ALL THE TREES ARE DEAD. ALL OF THEM.


From a description of methods for testing pollen viability: It is postulated that membranes change from a continuous state when hydrated to a discontinuous state when dried. As pollen moisture content is reduced, membrane structure alters; in effect, becoming more porous Translation: Pollen membranes crack when they dry out.

In appreciation of thorough metadeta

I’m working with a weather dataset that has some peculiar trends. So, of course, I got my hands on the metadata. And what metadata it is! Most of it is just as boring (but useful) as you imagine, but this bit completely makes up for the blandness of the previous six or so pages: IMPORTANT […]

Conferences are a minefield of migraine triggers

I went to the Evolution meeting last week in Ottawa and had a great time. Everything I had to say about how great ESA meetings are applied there, too (if you replace “ecology” with “evolution”): I love hearing about the latest research in my particular subfield, and I’m inspired by research seemingly unrelated to mine. […]

Too poor for science

I went to an awesome conference in my subfield a few weeks ago. The location was gorgeous, I got my own room, the talks were all well prepared and about stuff I’m gaga over. There were enough acquaintances attending to feel comfortable and enough new folks to make some useful connections. Plus, the conference sponsors […]