Patronus Charms for Imposter Syndrome

This was inevitable, right?!  Imposter syndrome is clearly the dementor of working professionals, immobilizing people by making them think the worst of their ability to do their job. Sometimes you know its coming almost like you’re apparating right into Azkaban; but sometimes it attacks you out of nowhere like when you’re minding your business walking…

Do Endangered Species have 12 Years to Wait?

My colleagues and I recently published on the time it takes to list a species under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This post will highlight some of our main findings with a few extra thoughts I have about the data. How long SHOULD it take to list a species under the ESA? In 1982…

Guest Post: How Sanctuaries Help Promote Conservation

Guest Post by Endangered Apparel Our planet is a pretty amazing place. It’s located just close enough to its parent star to produce the perfect temperature for live to thrive. Our atmosphere contains the right mixture of gases that benefit both plant and animal life. The gene pool has positively mutated enough to produce all…

This is What a Scientist Looks Like

Three years ago I began working with teachers in an intensive externship. Over three-week periods, they would train alongside me every day, developing lesson plans for classrooms based on my research. One of my teachers, not expecting me to look the way I did, called me fancy. The name stuck as I am now @FancyScientist…

What We’re Reading- July 29, 2016

When a Wolf is a Wolf + a Coyote Hybrids are not immediately protected under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) even though natural hybridization can lead to new species.  A new paper evaluates the genomic ancestry of the Eastern Wolf (Canis lycaon) and the Red Wolf (Canis rufus), both thought to have admixed ancestry…

Keep Wildlife Wild: Don’t Feed the Animals

I was having lunch with several wildlife managers during the 24th International Conference on Bear Research and Management, and asked them, “what is the one conservation message you want to get out to the public?”  And I loved this response from Colleen Olfenbuttel (North Carolina’s bear and furbearer manager): “Keep bears wild.” There are several…

What We’re Reading- July 22, 2016

Summer is for Catching Lightning Bugs A new paper (sub) measured the color of light which lightning bugs (aka fireflies; genus Lampyridae) emit as the day gets darker.  They found that males flash more yellow light earlier in the day and more green light as it gets darker.  Their data supported two hypotheses, that the yellow light…

Charismatic Megafauna Conservation vs Charismatic Megafauna Conservation

Prioritizing research efforts and on-the-ground action is essential for conservation, but also incredibly hard.  There’s plenty of debate about how best to set conservation priorities: save everything, triage/mathematical formulas for decisions, how to weigh expert opinion and societal values, etc.  Since conservation decisions can have real consequences for protecting species (and local human communities and…

What We’re Reading: July 1, 2016

Inbreeding Shortens Female Life-Span A new paper (open) investigated how life span differs between male and female fruit flies if they belonged to an inbred or normal population.  In the normal (aka- outbred) population, females lived longer than males; but in the inbred population, males and females lived the same length of time.  Given that…

How to write a student travel award application

I love going to scientific conferences. They provide me with great opportunities to learn about exciting new research, expand my professional network, and catch up with colleagues and old friends. Over the last few months (and at this point in previous years) I’ve spent some time evaluating student applications for a couple of different conference travel awards. Many academic societies offer such awards,…

Human Scrambled Wildlife Populations

Last week I was at a conference on the genomics of admixed populations. What is admixture? Admixture is a within species process that occurs when two (or more) populations that previously diverged come back into contact and mate. Thus the offspring have genetic signatures from the original populations. A particularly engaging session at the meeting…

What We’re Reading: May 27, 2016

Cut the (Coffee) Crap Still looking for an #EarthDayResolution? Well #CutTheCrap! Wildlife Alliance is working to raise awareness about animal cruelty, and rescue civets fed only coffee berries for the luxury coffee trade. The berries pass through the animal’s digestive track, changing the chemical composition of the mostly undigested berries. The berries are collected from…