A nice way to be rejected & thoughts on the job search.

I’ve been applying for jobs over the past year, and it’s a pretty terrible task. Asking people to judge me is not one of my favorite things in the world. Even when I was playing bass in the world’s greatest band that you’ve never heard of, I always focused on packing up the gear and getting things organized after a show. That way I didn’t really have to deal with finding out what people thought about us. Continue reading A nice way to be rejected & thoughts on the job search.


#IBS13 Wrap-up, refelections from Miami

IBS Logo
Figure 1. The International Biogeography Society is worth joining, if you haven’t already. Membership information is here.

The International Biogeography Society held its 2013 meeting at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.  The plenary speaker, Jim Brown, wrapped up the meeting with a talk on the latitudinal gradient of diversity, and our apparent inability to answer the question “Why are there more species in the tropics”. He made a great point during his talk, that I think is applicable to a number of ideas: There are multiple hypotheses about the latitudinal gradient of diversity, they are not generally exclusive, and the fact that the gradient is so ubiquitous across taxa and geographic regions indicates the fact that answering the question “Why?” shouldn’t require an overly complex solution (although it remains unsolved). Continue reading #IBS13 Wrap-up, refelections from Miami

When do I get the most work done?

I had an idea the other day while walking the dog, that I could get a sense of how often I get major progress done by checking the times that documents in my home directory get saved. In general, most of my working time is during the standard work day, I started a policy a while ago during grad school that I would work 9-5 without fail, although recently that’s been upended a bit, but that’s post-doc life.

Anyway, this literally took only about 30 minutes of coding to get off the ground, resulting in this code: Continue reading When do I get the most work done?

Some Bacon and a brief comic interlude. . .

So, my last post was the all time highest post at downwithtime, with 3000-some hits and counting.  Most of that traffic came from reddit.com, which is a sort of link aggregator with a social component.  While it gets some press for some unsavoury behaviour from participants, it also has some nice communities for people interested in geography, geology, statistics and paleo-everything.   Worth checking out, but be forewarned, there’s a lot of chaff. Continue reading Some Bacon and a brief comic interlude. . .

Making ridiculous graphs.

I make some pretty terrible graphs, especially when I’m working out ideas.  It’s a really bad habit of mine.  You’d think I’d have learned to label my axes, add legends and all that jazz by now, but lets face it, when you’re coding down to the wire in time for a meeting. . . well, the axes don’t just label themselves informatively on their own.  R does of course label the axes by default, but seriously, what does dry.test$zonestuff vs. dry.test$pca.attempt tell anyone?  Well, it tells people you need to learn how to make informative variable names, but, aside from that.

With this in mind, I’d like to present a graph I made a while back, just after I switched into my Ph.D that was recently sent back to me by Elizabeth Elle at Simon Fraser University.  Continue reading Making ridiculous graphs.

Upcoming and Recent Talks or Workshops

December 9, 2013:Goring et al Effects of Euro-American settlement and historic climate variability on species-climate relationships and the co-occurrence of dominant tree species. AGU 2013. (Poster, B11G-0438 – Monday morning, Hall A-C ) [Link]

JH Matthes et al.  Representations of historic vegetation dynamics in CMIP5 and MsTMIP models (Poster B11E-0401 – Monday morning)

A Dawson et al.  Spatio-temporal changes in forest composition inferred from fossil pollen records in the Upper Midwestern USA (Poster, B11G-0446 – Monday morning)

October 19 – 20, 2013: Palynological Databases Workshop (with Eric Grimm & Simon Brewer) at the AASP/CAP/Dino10/SEPM/CIMP Joint Meeting, San Francisco, CA [link].