Email of the week

10 11 2019

From Emma, who cleverly wooed an R PLGS mastermind into helping us by claiming I was “breathing down her neck” (hey, whatever works!).

Screenshot 2019-11-10 13.48.12

We’re trying to objectively assess the impact of highly influential species (e.g. the polar bear: often an extreme value) in our final analyses of the Carnivore Dataset. And after painfully rejecting solution after solution over the last few weeks, this finally looks like it could be the one….

Jamie’s great talk

4 11 2019

Jamie Ahloy Dallaire and family were in town last week, as he was giving the CCSAW research on Wednesday. It was just lovely to see him, Liana and Arlo (and catch up with Gwen and Oakland too), the evening before. Then on Wednesday he basically gave a perfect talk, on the challenging of measuring and mitigating aggression between male mice (the problem we’re trying to side-step by housing them with females).


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


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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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