• Advice

    Preparing a scientific poster

    There is a lot of great advice out there on posters. Check the key post section of: http://betterposters.blogspot.co.uk Far too much text for a poster is the main mistake we all do: https://dynamicecology.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/the-one-big-mistake-almost-every-scientific-poster-makes/ My own pet peaves: Don’t use images unless they have a function/caption/in text reference Use conceptual figures if you don’t have data (eg. diagram showing link between hypotheses).  Another type of conceptual figure is to present what you expect your results to look like (the plot can just be drawn in power point). Have a few key references in short form (Author year title journal) Far too many colours!  And thanks to PowerPoint, it appears that the…

  • PhD Studentships

    EnvEast PhD Studentship : Extremophiles everywhere and the limits of microbial life

    Deadline: midnight on Sunday 8 January 2017 Background Life is almost ubiquitous on Earth: organisms live wherever there is liquid water. However, whether all types of microorganisms can be found everywhere is a longstanding debate, with important implications for the health of humans and their environment.  Microbes must be put on the map! Measuring the capacity to grow in extreme conditions is an excellent way to test for the diversity of types found in natural environments. Research goal Determine the abundance of extremophiles in benign environments.  Compare the physiological breadth of organisms found in these benign environments to organisms isolated from extreme environments. Research methodology The student will conduct field sampling…

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  • Research

    Evolution in the context of complex communities

    Experimental evolution and artificial selection have focused on the study of populations of single species in isolation. However, organisms evolve within complex communities that respond to environmental change. Furthermore, communities may evolve in response to environmental change or to artificial selection through both genetic changes within species, but also through changes in the abundance of species and changes in ecological interactions. The study of evolution at any higher level of organisation than the population is controversial, contentious and exciting. Community rescue occurs when populations within a community evolve in response to an environmental stress that was initially lethal to all the constituent organisms. Our results suggest that entire communities have…

  • posts

    Independent graduate student

    We are always interested in taking on students that have their own funding. Please contact me if you are interested in applying for funding for a studentship to work with me. Funding bodies for PhDs wanting to come and study in the UK: NSERC (Canada) FRQNT (Quebec) JSON (Australia) Common wealth scholarships/here for the specifics about UK (for any developing Commonwealth country) Fulbright Scholarships or British Marshall Scholarships (USA)

  • posts,  Tricks

    Getting arbitrary week numbers into calendar

    University of Essex uses week numbers starting with the first week of term for timetabling. Many people here use a three step translation process, from week number, to date and then to entering into their diary. Here is a google calendar of University of Essex week numbers for 2014. ical, xml or html It was created usingArbitrary week number generator for ical compatible calendars

  • Essex,  posts,  Tricks

    Finding articles

    I have grown accustomed to accessing any article through the university suscription easily through google scholar integration, even from home using VPN. However, not all universities have the same level of subscriptions or network access and I have now been forced to understand why I receive so many emails requesting reprints. Contacting the corresponding author does have advantage the advantage that you get to see whom is reading your articles and possibly even forge new relationships. And sometimes the only way if you can’t/don’t want to pay extortionary publisher access fees, there are a few other options: 1. Use library subscription integration Go to settings > library links > search…

  • Research

    Microbial biogeography

    Life is almost ubiquitous on Earth: organisms live wherever there is liquid water. However, whether all types of micro-organisms can be found everywhere is a longstanding debate. Microbes must be put on the map! Because adaptation to extreme environments requires the development of novel specialised capacities not found in other organisms, organisms that can grow in extremes conditions could be expected to be confined to extreme environments and are ideal model organisms for the study of microbial biogeography. Lake Hertel in which organisms that can thrive in extreme conditions were found. Photo credit: Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University – DIZI Films inc. Lake Hertel Using amplifying bioreactors, we have…

  • Research

    Ecological and evolutionary response to global change

    Front row are elevated CO2 cultures, back row are ambient CO2 cultures. The world has been changing faster in the past ten years than it likely has in the last 300 million.  When faced with environmental change, species can avoid the change by moving, evolve and adapt to the new conditions or go extinct. Environmental change will thus cause changes in the composition of communities and in the important functions they provide. We investigate how knowledge of the physiology of individual species can help us predict changes in complex communities.  We also study how the physiology of species can change through evolutionary adaptation to their novel environment and how this…