The Long Trip to the Cutting Edge

It’s the first week of class here, which always catches me off guard. Suddenly the streets are filled with people unfamiliar with the laws of walking around in New York City. I might be getting curmudgeonly.

This quote from an interview with Randall Munroe, creator of XKCD (previously), is apropos, as many little baby graduate students are starting their climbs up towards the shoulders of giants:

When you’re talking about pure research, every year it’s a longer trip to the cutting edge. Students have to spend a larger percentage of their careers catching up to the people who have gone before them. My solution to that is to tackle problems that are so weird that no one serious has ever spent any time on them.

OMICS and Evoluationary Biology

I’ve written before about the OMICS Group, a “predatory Open Access publisher” (according to an article published in their Journal of Primatology.) So I was a bit tickled to see that the Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology spelled “evolutionary” wrong in their email subject line.

Goodbye 2013!

Retrospective blog post time, again! 2013 was a fine year. I was lucky enough to go to Bolivia:

…and to the Everglades in Florida to see manatees and gators, and to Knoxville, Tennessee for the AAPA meetings and the Great Smokey Mountains. With a bunch of great collaborators, I coauthored a papers on RADseq in primates, protein-protein interactions, and the use of phylogenetics in primate behavior. In our lab, data collection kicked into (relatively) high gear by prepping and sequencing about a dozen “next-gen” libraries full of primates. Amazingly, they all worked!

A big change in 2013 for me outside of the lab was to restart learning Spanish using the site, italki and to begin to learn halting French using Duolingo. The Spanish certainly came in handy in Bolivia (and Florida) and I hope the French will be equally useful if I ever work in Francophone Africa.

This here blog is just over a year and a half old. A bunch of folks (almost 30,000) visited this site from all over the world this year which always makes me happy. C’mon, though, Greenland! You’re STILL a lot of grey in this map projection.

Happy 2014!