Friday links: fake David Attenborough, US college enrollments are dropping, and more

Also this week: the story behind an evolutionary parody, a statistical profile of recent faculty hires in neuroscience, Game of Thrones grad school, “it’s because she put the beetles in a planetarium”, the statistician blues, Lego Daphnia, and more.

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Who should be senior author on papers resulting from collaborations between multiple research groups?

I am pretty much through with revisions to my manuscript on authorship, with one exception. One of the reviewers is (quite reasonably) pushing me to make a stronger recommendation about how authorship decisions should be made in the increasingly common case of collaborations between groups. But, of course, this is a tricky issue, and I’m waffling on what exactly to recommend. This blog post is me trying to work through that, and looking for feedback at the end. I’m quite interested in hearing how others think decisions about authorship should be made when multiple groups collaborate substantially on a project!

I’ll start by recapping some of what my results, since they set up the general question. Then, I’ll give some of my thoughts on what might be a proposed solution. And, as I said above, I’ll end by asking for feedback on what I propose.

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Useful links related to tenure-track job searches in ecology (and other job searches)

It’s faculty job hunting season, so I’m reupping Meghan’s very useful, recently-updated compilation of links related to tenure-track job searches in ecology.

As an aside, you might also be interested in our series of posts on non-academic careers for ecologists. Starts here.

Please help me identify ecologists hired as tenure-track asst. profs in the 2016-17 faculty job season (UPDATED)

Reupping this from back in the spring:

Last fall, I compiled data on the gender balance of over 170 newly-hired assistant professors of ecology and allied fields at N. American colleges and universities. The results were good news: 53% of N. American tenure-track assistant professors of ecology hired in 2015-16 (or in a few cases in 2014) were women.

This year I’m doing it again. To make it easier, I’m asking for your help. This Google Docs spreadsheet lists all tenure-track positions in ecology and allied fields (plus a bunch of other positions) advertised in the 2016-17 job season. If you know who was hired to fill one or more of the listed N. American assistant professor positions in ecology or an allied field, please email me with this information (

UPDATE: To clarify, please also contact me about people hired to fill tenure-track N. American asst. professor of ecology positions not listed on the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet doesn’t include all advertised positions (though it gets fairly close), and it doesn’t include unadvertised positions such as spousal hires. Hires are hires; I draw no distinction between spousal hires and other hires.

Before you email me, please read the following:

I only want information that’s been made publicly available, for instance via an official announcement on a departmental website, or by someone tweeting something like “I’ve accepted a TT job at Some College, I start Aug. 1!” If you want to pass on the information that you yourself have been hired into a faculty position, that’s fine too. All you’re doing is saving me from googling publicly-available information myself to figure out who was hired for which positions. Please do not contact me to pass on confidential information, in particular confidential information about hiring that has not yet been totally finalized.

Please do not contact me with nth-hand “information” you heard through the grapevine. Not even if you’re confident it’s reliable.

I’m only interested in N. American tenure-track asst. professors who are “ecologists”, broadly defined. That basically means:

  • anybody hired into a position with “ecology” or an ecological term in the job title (including positions like “evolutionary ecology”, “paleoecology”, “biodiversity”, etc.)
  • anybody hired into a position in a closely-allied fields like conservation biology, wildlife, fisheries, rangelands, etc.
  • people who are ecologists, but who were hired into broadly-defined positions such as “biologist”, “plant biologist”, “vertebrate biologist”, etc. A substantial proportion of academic ecologists hold those sorts of broadly-defined positions, so it would be weird not to include them.

If in doubt, contact me with the information and let me decide whether to count the hire in question as an “ecology” hire.

I’m interested in positions at all institutions of higher education, not just research universities. Even if the position is a pure teaching position with no research duties.

I emphasize that I’m only looking for hires at the assistant professor level. Hires at higher ranks are senior people moving from one faculty position to another, which isn’t relevant for my purposes.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Friday links: Happy Birthday to Us, Dr. Leia, the opposite of a biologist, and more

From Jeremy:

The NSF has a new report on the career plans of newly-minted science and engineering PhDs. There are more than ever–but fewer have concrete plans for after they receive their degrees. (ht Chris Blattman)

The opposite of a biologist is a model (the fashion kind, not the mathematical kind). (ht @matt_levine)


And finally: Meghan, Brian, and I celebrated Dynamic Ecology’s 5th birthday this week:

Happy birthday to us! Looking forward to another n years.

Brian, Meghan, and I are off to #ESA2017; please say hi to us!

Brian, Meghan, and I will all be at #ESA2017. Please say hi to us! Even if we’re outside the convention center, or eating a meal, or chatting with someone else at the moment (maybe just wait a minute for a break in the conversation in the latter case). Please say hi even if you just wanted to say “love the blog” or whatever. Conferences are a good time to meet other ecologists–we’d love to meet you. 🙂

p.s. See here and here for advice on the whys and hows of networking at conferences. And here’s Meghan on wandering alone at conferences and Stephen Heard on conferencing as an introvert.

#ESA2017 bingo cards!

Here are your ESA bingo cards!

I love the ESA meeting, and for me part of loving the ESA meeting is having a chuckle about it. Hope these cards will give you a laugh too.

This year I had the online bingo card generator generate a whole bunch of different cards, so you can totally play ESA Bingo for real with your friends. And if you get bingo in the middle of my talk, you have my permission to yell out “Bingo!” 🙂 (please don’t do it during anyone else’s talk!)