Our cat faces paper is out today!

30 10 2019

Out cat facial expressions study is out at last (and faced with videos of Sylvie playing, and Luke having his rump scratched, 87% of 3,200 participants identified positive affect!).

Click here for the paper, and here to find out more and test your own cat-reading abilities.

Below, Mouse, most readable of cats in our first pilot:

Mouse's faces for Twitter


It’s time for the BBC to pay women the same as men

28 10 2019

Screenshot 2019-10-28 14.47.36The wonderful Samira Ahmed, hit (I suspect) with the double whammy of being neither male nor white, is rightly protesting the way her pay is a fraction of that of her male counterparts. Go Samira!!!

Thanks to Maria and Andy for this great opinion piece too: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/28/for-women-to-talk-about-money-let-alone-demand-equal-pay-still-taboo-jeremy-vine-samira-ahmed.

Be careful what you wish for!

28 10 2019

Last week I advertised an undergraduate project position (maybe two at a stretch) to my current ANSC*3090 course. I was expecting half a dozen responses, and was overwhelmed to get this amazing reaction:

Screenshot 2019-10-28 14.34.50


Canadian at last!

27 10 2019

18 months after I applied, 3 weeks after I passed my test, and 3 days after the election, I became Canadian!  There were 43 of us at the ceremony, from 23 countries, and the whole thing was a delightful, sometimes moving, mix of formal and jolly.

We R nerdy

27 10 2019

Michelle and Melanie show off their R button badges: swag from a workshop attended by Aileen. We embrace our inner nerds in this lab!!  (This is while we enjoy some Fall sun, waiting for everyone to gather for this semester’s ‘journal’ club: a break from stats to read Melissa Bateson‘s draft chapters for a new edition of her father’s book, Measuring Behaviour).


Knives and flaming sambuca

27 10 2019

To celebrate the two defences, we had a really fun night out the Friday of that week, with partners too: first, knife and axe-thowing at The Garrison (a new experience for pretty much all of us), and then dinner and drinks at (of course) Miijidaa. Lab members one would seriously want on one’s side in a fight proved to be Sam (don’t gooooo!), Aileen and Melanie. And below, Sam and Aimee down some flaming sambuca.

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And a belated farewell to Agustina

27 10 2019

Late with this too as it happened in August! Agustina went back home to Argentina (and is much missed). But not until some of us had taken her out in a canoe on the Speed River (she’s in blue, below, with me, Andrea and Aimee); and also fed her a weird Canadian drink called a Caesar (rapidly replaced by a much nicer gin and tonic).

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Belated congratulations to Aimee!

27 10 2019

I’ve been very slow posting this as Aimee’s defence, two days after Sam’s, was on the very first day of class — and since then it’s been like riding a unicycle night and day while juggling flaming brands. But as will have been obvious from her lovely thesis being in the Atrium, Aimee passed! And just as with Sam’s defence, the discussion precipitated many ideas for how to write a great paper from her work. Left to right, Aimee herself, me, examiner Lena Levison, chair Alex Harlander, and examiner Renee Bergeron.

Aimee's defence

A sable called Mabel

26 10 2019

OK I made up the name. But just how beautiful is this animal?

Obituary for Victoria

26 10 2019

Screenshot 2019-10-26 10.45.03Lovely obituary for Victoria, written by Sue Healy: