Blois Paleoecology Lab

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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spring break reflections

This week is spring break, which gives me a chance to reflect on the past few months.  I’ve now been at this job for 2.5 months and I’m loving it!  Here’s what I’ve been up to recently.

  • Classes started at the end of January at UCM.  I am teaching Paleoecology this semester and have a great group of students. I think they might even be learning something!  I know I’m learning a lot from them, and am enjoying seeing Paleoecology through new eyes.
  • I’ve been busy with papers, both new and old.  I submitted revisions last week to PNAS for a paper on testing the assumption that spatial patterns can substitute for temporal patterns.  I’ve also been working with some co-authors on a paper that’s reviewing biotic interactions across time scales
  • NSF funding for a new project actually came through, despite threat of Sequester #1 and Sequester #2. I am recruiting a grad student to start this fall for this project…preferably someone with experience with species distribution modeling.  If you know anyone, send them my way!
  • In February, I went to Washington, DC for a meeting of the ETE Community Assembly and Disassembly group.  The organizers got funding to set up a Research Coordination Network (RCN), of which I’m on the steering committee. Our current project is looking at the strength of species associations in many different time slices across many different systems, and teasing apart whether the strongest associations are due to environment or traits.
  • I just got back from a meeting at Stanford to set up a new database to nail down the timing of megafaunal extinction in South America.  This is a group led by Tony Barnosky at Berkeley, and his senior grad student (soon to be Fullbright scholar in Uruguay) Emily Lindsey.  It’s a fantastic group with a mix of paleobiologists, archaeologists, and paleoclimatologists, from North America, South America, and one New Zealander!  Check out this nice blog post by Alexis Mychajliw from the Hadly lab at Stanford
  • I accepted my first grad student, who will be coming to UCM in the fall.  More info soon.

Whew.  I feel like there are many more things to add to that list, but it overloads my brain just thinking about these highlights.  It’s been a busy, but fantastic few months.