Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday's eemb seminar

Hanna Kokko will be giving the EEMB departmental seminar next week. Dr Kokko is a behavioral ecologist and theorist and will likely discuss her work on the evolution of sex roles, population dynamics, and sperm parasites (Amazon mollies).

Title:From individuals to populations ... and back
Date: Nov 2
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: MSR Auditorium

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fantastic opportunity

Part Time Research and Curatorial Assistant

Opportunity for Biology student with excellent computer and statistical skills to assist with curating of entomology collection, statistical analysis of collection data and creation of collection data-base. Hours are extremely flexible and can be adapted to your schedule, ideally averaging about 10 hours per week. Some work can be performed at your home, some where the collection is located about 15 minutes from campus. Potential exists for junior author status on future scientific papers.

Initial projects will include analysis of 20 years of flight period data for evidence of local impact of global warming, and comparison of post-wildfire collecting data with 10 years of base line records to evaluate habitat recovery.

This large (60,000 specimen) collection is in need of a good computerized data-base using File Maker Pro or other data base application on Mac OSX that will be compatible with data systems at two Natural History Museums. Other curatorial and collection organization tasks are also needed. This is could be a two year or even longer opportunity for the right student. There is additional potential for studies of the student's own design utilizing the collection.

Compensation: $10 per hour.

For further information or to apply contact Paul Russell, 805 682-6960,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Voyage of the Beagle finger puppets

Brilliant. Check out the three finches with three different beaks.....

You know you want to make them....

There's a template available here along with patterns for various other crocheted items (octopus, squid, jellyfish, prawn and mustaches (?))

Friday, October 16, 2009

Charles Darwin - The True story



Dr. John van Wyhe
Christ's College, Cambridge
Director, The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online

2:00 PM, Webb Hall 1100

This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th of the publication of Origin of Species. Yet much of what is commonly known about Darwin is wrong. He did not discover evolution on the Galapagos, Darwin's finches were not the turning point, he did not keep his theory secret for 20 years, he was not trying undermine religion and he was not an atheist. This talk reveals the real Darwin and outlines what he really did and said in a clear and entertaining way.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RISE - Research Internships in Science and Engineering

This looks like a great opportunity to pursue summer research activities in Germany in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences & Engineering.
Undergraduate students work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of 1.5 to 3 months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. The working language will be English. All scholarship holders receive stipends from the DAAD to help cover living expenses, while partner universities and research institutes provide housing assistance. In 2010 we hope to have 300 interns.

The application period for undergraduate students from the US, Canada, and the UK, who wish to take part in an internship during summer 2010, is:
December 7, 2009 to January 31, 2010.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Writing, Reading, and Reviewing Scientific Articles

This coming week in the bio colloquium we're reading an article from the primary literature. To provide general background on the elements of a scientific paper we also handed out "guidelines for writing a scientific paper". To help you think about it from the other end (reviewer vs. writer) you may want to see what guidelines the scientific journals provide their reviewers, that is, what helps us decide whether a paper is "publishable" by a given journal. This is useful in writing (and reading) a paper to see what the "critics" are looking for.

Here is the link for reviewers for the journal, Ecology:

Also informative is the "Reviewers Information Pack" ( for everything you might want to know about the review process for journal articles. This is provided by Elsevier, which publishes Developmental Biology, and hundreds of other journals (

Here's their reviewers' home page:

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I wish to bring the following scholarship competitions to the attention of students and faculty in your program.

Scholarships with Campus Application Deadline of January 7, 2010
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship
  • David Boren Scholarships for Study Abroad
Scholarships with Campus Application Deadline of February 3, 2010
  • Beinecke Scholarship
  • Donald A. Strauss Scholarship
  • Morris K. Udall Scholarship
These prestigious scholarships require campus endorsement. This necessitates campus application deadlines well in advance of the agency deadline. Scholarship information and application instructions may be found on the URCA web site.

Students interested in applying should begin the application process NOW.
Please contact the Campus Scholarship Director, as soon as possible to confirm your interest and to have your questions answered regarding the campus application and nomination processes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Regional Evolution Meeting and Lab opportunity

The Oakley lab is looking for some volunteers... it wouldn't be very high level stuff, but it would be a nice introduction to lab work - possibly ideal for freshmen who just want to wet their toes a little without fear of a commitment! It would be a couple hours a week helping with a behavioral experiment to determine mate choice in ostracods. If you are interested in this then contact me (John) and I will pass on the contact information. Also, courtesy of Todd Oakley, comes the following announcement:

This year the WEB (Western Evolutionary Biologists) meeting will be held at UC-Berkeley. The UC organization NERE funds travel expenses to the meeting. Each campus has funds for this, for which Todd Oakley has responsibility at UCSB. UCSB-NERE will fund the travel expenses on a first come-first serve basis. First people to register get priority for free travel. In the past, there has been enough funds to fund everyone interested, but this year is the first year in more distant Berkeley.

If you'd like to give a talk or poster, note the deadline for abstract submission is not too long from now (Oct 16).

The WEB web site and registration is here:

Movie about life in a molecular biology lab

MCDB Movie
Thursday, October 1, 2009
LSB Auditorium (1001)
Movie screening: "Naturally Obsessed: the making of a scientist" (links to movie website)

Mixing humor with heartbreak, the film takes a profoundly real yet intensely dramatic story about life in a molecular biology lab.

Film review from the Washington Post