How to revise for QEs

13 02 2019

Michelle, prepping for her PhD Qualifying Exams, shows us how it’s done:

Step 1: Let a cat soak up all the knowledge. This may take some days. Two cats can alternate here – that’s fine.

Step 2: Hug the cats firmly. Note: there should be fur to skin contact.

So, so confident she’ll be fine!

Email of the week

13 02 2019

From Andrea, ready to finally piece together the last logical steps of her “1000s of monkeys” complex stats model:

Screenshot 2019-02-12 22.05.05


Can biomarkers of biological age be used to assess cumulative lifetime experience?

13 02 2019

A nice new paper from Melissa Bateson and her post-doc Coline Poirier has just been published in Animal Welfare. They focus on telomere length and hippocampal volume, but I would add survivorship to the list (an old interest re-ignited by a cool BMJ paper I read for class showing that elected presidents die earlier than their unelected rivals); and in some species or strains, stereotypic behaviour too.



7 02 2019

Screenshot 2019-02-07 12.57.33Amazing new paper in Science Advances, on bees doing maths:

And a nice write up here:


Many congratulations to Misha!

7 02 2019

A 10 lb baby called Oakland AND a submitted manuscript, all in the same week: now THAT’S productivity….

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Baby dreams

29 01 2019

As this year’s OGS deadline approaches, Misha is working away on a manuscript that Lindsey is an author on. But he’s trying to meet another deadline too: the arrival of his and Gwen’s baby, due a few days ago now so it really all could start any second. This has prompted some vivid dreams: I dreamt Misha brought a baby to our next lab meeting, Gwen dreamt the baby was a kitten, and Misha dreamt it was a big black shaggy dog. Hopefully we’ll know the sex (and species?) very very soon.

Referee comment of the week

22 01 2019

Not to me but to a colleague. She wonders, as she makes her revisions, how much grammar is too much?

“try and remove excessive grammar”.