Insect diversity @ McGill
Stories about our collection of three million unique little volumes of biodiversity, the people who build and use it, and the research we do. And the odd rumination upon the nature of science and scientists.
All content copyright Terry A. Wheeler 2011-2013, unless otherwise noted.
TagsAgromyzidae alpine arctic biodiversity Bombyliidae Braulidae Calliphoridae Canada Chloropidae Coleoptera collecting collection conferences curation databases Diopsidae Diptera DNA barcode ecology Ephydridae evolution fieldwork flies Hemiptera history Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae ideas Keroplatidae Milichiidae natural history new species Northern Biodiversity Program Phoridae plants publications Scathophagidae science culture students Syrphidae taxonomy teaching thinking
Tag Archives: science culture
After 17 years in the same office I was moved just before Christmas into a new office one floor up in my building. My initial annoyance at having to deal with moving soon gave way to the realization that I … Continue reading
It’s important for scientists to be able to explain what we do to a broad audience, not just other scientists. After all, depending on the research we do and how we do it, those non-scientists are the people who pay … Continue reading
At the end of every teaching term I find myself in exactly the same place: burned out from rushing around, tired from marking, annoyed that I haven’t gotten more research done, even more annoyed that I haven’t taken more days … Continue reading
Here in the lab we do both taxonomy and ecology. The balance between the two shifts back and forth depending on projects and time of year and the like; in the last couple of weeks, things have definitely swung towards … Continue reading
I’ve spent most of the past two weeks waiting in airports in a total of five cities, breathing dry and recycled hotel air, eating unpredictable restaurant food, sitting in dark rooms listening to people talk, drinking overpriced coffee, navigating slippery … Continue reading
Why do we do what we do? Why do I look at flies? Why do I spend what should be my vacation time doing exactly what I do the rest of the summer — playing with insects? Why do I … Continue reading
We have come to associate particular “getting ready” sequences with “big event” sequences in movies. Every boxing movie has that scene in the locker room where the underdog silently and sloowwwwly tapes up his hands. Every rodeo scene has that … Continue reading
One of the great pleasures of working in an area like the Biodiversity of Small Flies, is that “what we know” is a vastly smaller box than “what we don’t know”. I think some people find a lack of knowledge … Continue reading
Scientists like clarity. We like to have our definitions nicely lined up. We like to label things. But that’s not always easy. I’m a taxonomist. I’m an ecologist. I’m a naturalist. I know what all those labels mean, to me, … Continue reading