Author Archives: terry wheeler

About terry wheeler

professor, museum director, entomologist, ecologist, naturalist

Adventures in empathy: allergies, mental health, & hard days in academia

Last week, in the midst of my 50s, I discovered the delightful horror of allergies. When I got the sore throat, I assumed it was a cold. And then my eyes caught fire. And then I got all the other … Continue reading

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The last lecture: 6 things to keep for 5 years

I finished my final class for the year in Evolution & Phylogeny the other day. The students wrote their final exam yesterday. By today I figure some of the course content has already hit its half-life and it’s on its … Continue reading

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New flies in new places

When taxonomy makes the news, it’s usually because somebody’s just described a new species. But there’s more to taxonomic research than just discovering and describing new species. A new paper from our lab that’s been published on-line in early view … Continue reading

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Open spaces: A new species of fly from the Yukon

There’s a little genus of small, rare flies that live in bird nests. They’re called Neossos, and a few years ago one of my former undergraduate students, Gregor Gilbert, pulled together what was known about the taxonomy and ecology of … Continue reading

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Suburban biodiversity: surprising flies in the neighborhood

Christine Barrie, a grad student in the lab, found a fly she couldn’t put a name on. Other students in the lab had trouble too. So did I. It looked familiar, but it didn’t key out in the standard North … Continue reading

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Fading walls: Communication, conferences, and sharing science

The front walls of the convention center are mostly glass, but you’ll need your name badge to get beyond the lobby. I was at the 100th annual conference of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore last week. I saw … Continue reading

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Learning to sharpen your scythe

My grandfather used a scythe to cut hay. Yes. A scythe: big blade, long curved handle, Grim Reaper scythe. I remember watching the mathematical, poetical way he’d arc the blade, pivoting from the waist, mowing down a strip, stepping forward … Continue reading

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