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Daniel Montesinos
Works at Web Ecology
Attended Universitat de València
Lives in Coimbra, Portugal
10,167 followers|1,535,128 views
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Daniel Montesinos

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Our system selectively favors lame science

"In the model, as in real academia, positive results are easier to publish than negative one, and labs that publish more get more prestige, funding, and students. They also pass their practices on. With every generation, one of the oldest labs dies off, while one of the most productive one reproduces, creating an offspring that mimics the research style of the parent. That’s the equivalent of a student from a successful team starting a lab of their own. Over time, and across many simulations, the virtual labs inexorably slid towards less effort, poorer methods, and almost entirely unreliable results. And here’s the important thing: Unlike the hypothetical researcher I conjured up earlier, none of these simulated scientists are actively trying to cheat. They used no strategy, and they behaved with integrity. And yet, the community naturally slid towards poorer methods. What the model shows is that a world that rewards scientists for publications above all else—a world not unlike this one—naturally selects for weak science."

“An easy change is to ask the candidate to send three articles, which the committee can read and evaluate in detail. Now, the candidate's incentives are to produce three outstanding pieces of work.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/the-inevitable-evolution-of-bad-science/500609/
A simulation shows how the incentives of modern academia naturally select for weaker and less reliable results.
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The history of Earth's temperature

"(After setting your car on fire) Listen, your car's temperature has changed before." http://xkcd.com/1732/
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The North Atlantic Oscillation synchronises fruit production in western European forests

Weather and its lagged effects have been associated with interannual variability and synchrony of fruit production for several tree species. Such relationships are used often in hypotheses relating interannual variability in fruit production with tree resources or favourable pollinating conditions and with synchrony in fruit production among sites through the Moran effect (the synchronisation of biological processes among populations driven by meteorological variability) or the local availability of pollen. Climatic teleconnections, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), representing weather packages, however, have rarely been correlated with fruit production, despite often being better predictors of ecological processes than is local weather. The aim of this study was to test the utility of seasonal NAO indices for predicting interannual variability and synchrony in fruit production using data from 76 forests of Abies alba, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus petraea, and Q. robur distributed across central Europe. Interannual variability in fruit production for all species was significantly correlated with seasonal NAO indices, which were more prominently important predictors than local meteorological variables. The relationships identified by these analyses indicated that proximal causes were mostly responsible for the interannual variability in fruit production, supporting the premise that local tree resources and favourable pollinating conditions are needed to produce large fruit crops. Synchrony in fruit production between forests was mainly associated with weather and geographical distance among sites. Also, fruit production for a given year was less variable among sites during warm and dry springs (negative spring NAO phases). Our results identify the Moran effect as the most likely mechanism for synchronisation of fruit production at large geographical scales and the possibility that pollen availability plays a role in synchronising fruit production at local scales. Our results highlight the influence of the NAO on the patterns of fruit production across western Europe.

+CREAFecologia +Albert Naya i Díaz

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecog.02296/abstract
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According to this statistic, I am going to be the next Nobel prize ;)

http://www.sciencealert.com/these-8-papers-were-rejected-before-going-on-to-win-the-nobel-prize
As a scientist, there are few things more soul-crushing than spending months or years working on a paper, only to have it rejected by your journal of choice - especially when you really feel like you're onto something important.
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Two invasive acacia species secure generalist pollinators in invaded communities

Exotic entomophilous plants need to establish effective pollinator interactions in order to succeed after being introduced into a new community, particularly if they are obligatory outbreeders. By establishing these novel interactions in the new non-native range, invasive plants are hypothesized to drive changes in the composition and functioning of the native pollinator community, with potential impacts on the pollination biology of native co-flowering plants.

In this study, we used two different sites in Portugal, each invaded by a different acacia species, to assess whether two native Australian trees, Acacia dealbata and Acacia longifolia, were able to recruit pollinators in Portugal, and whether the pollinator community visiting acacia trees differed from the pollinator communities interacting with native co-flowering plants.

Our results indicate that in the invaded range of Portugal both acacia species were able to establish novel mutualistic interactions, predominantly with generalist pollinators. For each of the two studied sites, only two other co-occurring native plant species presented partially overlapping phenologies. We observed significant differences in pollinator richness and visitation rates among native and non-native plant species, although the study of b diversity indicated that only the native plant Lithodora fruticosa presented a differentiated set of pollinator species. Acacias experienced a large number of visits by numerous pollinator species, but massive acacia flowering resulted in flower visitation rates frequently lower than those of the native co-flowering species.

The establishment of mutualisms in Portugal likely contributes to the effective and profuse production of acacia seeds in Portugal. Despite the massive flowering of A. dealbata and A. longifolia, native plant species attained similar or higher visitation rates than acacias.


Link to free pdf: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1TE0O,Q4YJBumi

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Daniel Montesinos

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An interview to the academic behind Sh-t Academics Say

"I personally found these sentiments to be less than comforting after my own failed job applications (90-plus over two years), unsuccessful grant applications (15 since 2000), soul-crushing course evaluations ("He should have applied some of the motivational principles he teaches about to his own teaching." — Winter 2015, paraphrased), and unjustified manuscript rejections ("I am a jealous and generally unhappy person." — Reviewer 2, paraphrased)."

"I increasingly found myself dealing with unexpected combinations of emotion such as boredom/anger while grading, guilt/envy while reviewing a manuscript I should have written, or relief/shame after an internal grant deadline was extended. As an experienced overthinker, I was also able to convince myself that these wonderfully nuanced internal experiences were somehow unique to my beautiful mind. Whether it was self-disappointment over writing guilt on date night, resentment while teaching night classes instead of reading bedtime stories to my kids, or using humor to avoid feeling like a fraud while teaching content learned the day before or writing papers few would ever read, well-worn constructs like work-life balance and impostor syndrome didn’t seem to fit."

http://chronicle.com/article/AcademicsSay-The-Story/231195/
A parody Twitter account born out of frustration brought unexpected rewards — connecting with a previously unknown community and expanding research opportunities.
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Discover and install useful RStudio addins

"RStudio addins were released in early 2016 to provide anyone with the ability to add "extensions" to RStudio. This feature has quickly become popular, but discoverability was a problem: there's just no easy way to know what addins exist."

"This package solves that problem in two ways. First, it provides a continuously updated list of RStudio addins that you can browse through (below). Also, if you install this package (install.packages('addinslist')), your RStudio will get populated with a new addin called "Browse RStudio addins". This addin allows you to interactively browse through the list of addins, see which ones you already have installed, and let you install/uninstall the corresponding package of each addin. The following image shows how to access this "addin of addins" in RStudio."


https://github.com/daattali/addinslist#addinslist-table
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Daniel Montesinos

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Listed and categorized catalog of Youtube vids about statistics

"Truth be told, this post is a glorified Google search in many respects. In any case, I had intended for a long time to gather this information as to facilitate the often laborious task of finding pertinent resources for learning statistical science in a non-static format (i.e., videos) that is easily accessible, high-quality, instructive and free."

https://www.r-bloggers.com/learning-statistics-on-youtube/
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Excel automatic formatting is ruining one fifth of genetic papers

"The researchers claimed the problem is present in approximately one-fifth of papers that collated data in Excel documents (...) Gene symbols like SEPT2 (Septin 2) were found to be altered to "September 2"."

"Excel is able to display data and text in many different ways. Default settings are intended to work in most day-to-day scenarios (...) Excel offers a wide range of options, which customers with specific needs can use to change the way their data is represented."


http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37176926
Microsoft's Excel has been blamed for some errors in academic papers on genomics.
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Juli Pausas's profile photoCorey Lapka's profile photoDaniel Montesinos's profile photo
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What do you use +Juli Pausas? LibreOffice?
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The truth about Linear Regressions

#humor

http://xkcd.com/1725/
Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors). BTC 1FhCLQK2ZXtCUQDtG98p6fVH7S6mxAsEey
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Polyploidization decreases time lag between introduction and escape of alien plants http://www.web-ecol.net/12/1/2012/

The time between introduction of an alien species and escape from cultivation shows considerable variation among species. One hypothesis to explain this variation of the time lag invokes the evolution of genotypes adapted to the conditions of the new environment. Here, we analyse the variation in time lags among 53 alien woody plant species in Germany. Accounting for the effects of time since introduction, growth form (trees versus shrubs), biogeography and taxonomic isolation (presence or absence of a native congener in the adventive area) we found that the time lag decreases with increasing polyploidization. By contrast, the haploid chromosome number was not significantly related to the time lag. These results provide evidence for the hypothesis that recent genome duplication events are important for a fast escape from cultivation of an alien woody plant species. We suggest that a large number of duplicated chromosomes increase the partitioning of the genome and hence the average rate of recombination between loci facilitating the formation of adaptive genotypes.


Free download: http://www.web-ecol.net/12/1/2012/
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Modeling the relative importance of ecological factors in exotic invasion: The origin of competitors matters, but disturbance in the non-native range tips the balance

• Evaluation of the relative importance of different mechanisms involved in invasions.
• Plants from populations in the non-native range performed better in most scenarios.
• Greater reproductive capacity of non-native C. solstitialis favored invasion.
• Disturbance favored C. solstitialis, predominantly in the non-native region.
• Biogeographic differences were not manifest without disturbance.

Successful exotic plant invasions are likely to be caused by multiple, non-mutually exclusive mechanisms, and it is exceptionally difficult to weight the relative importance of these mechanisms identified in different experiments.

To this end we used individual-based models to explore how integrating empirical results from experiments might help to elucidate the relative importance of seed origin, biogeographic differences in competitive outcomes, and disturbance in exotic plant invasion.

We integrated results from (1) competition experiments between Centaurea solstitialis derived from populations in the non-native range (California), the native range (Spain), and co-occurring native species from both ranges, (2) seed production by Centaurea plants from the different ranges grown in a common-garden environment, and (3) responses to disturbance experiments with plants from different native and non-native ranges.

Californian C. solstitialis reached slightly higher abundances than its Spanish counterparts in every scenario, mainly due to higher seed production of Californians than their Spanish conspecifics, indicating the potential importance of evolutionary changes in the non-native range. In the absence of disturbance, grass species native to Europe showed stronger competitive effects on C. solstitialis than grass species native to North America, suggesting that release from competition in the native range may have some explanatory power for successful C. solstitialis invasion.

However, the intensity of competition depended on the disturbance regime used in models. When intense disturbance was incorporated into the model, C. solstitialis was favored, with plants from Californian seed sources reaching higher densities than plants from Spanish seed sources. Our results are consistent with the idea that disproportional positive responses to disturbance in California, relative to those in the invader's native range of Spain, may be an important factor in the dominance of C. solstitialis in its non-native ranges.

It is not clear why disturbance would have more beneficial effects on the invader in its non-native range, but the powerful effects of disturbance appear to interact in subtle ways with biogeographic differences in evolutionary trends, competitive intensities, life histories, and reproductive rates.

Free download: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1T5UI15DJ~lvQu
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Tagline
Plant Ecologist
Introduction
I'm an "exotic" plant ecologist interested on adaptations occurring to invasive plant species across broad biogeographical ranges. 

Native from Spain, so far I have tried to "colonize" places like Wales, Brazil and the U.S. I am currently based in Portugal at the Center for Functional Ecology of the Universidade de Coimbra.

I'm Editor-in-Chief for the open access scientific journal Web Ecology, and the moderator for the G+ community Plant Ecology, check them out!

Bragging rights
I have Tourette Syndrome #TouretteAmbassador #TouretteHero
Education
  • Universitat de València
    B. Sc. Biology, 1999
  • Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva (UV)
    M. Sc. Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, 2002
  • CSIC - Universitat de València
    Ph. D., 2007
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
October 31
Relationship
Married
Other names
Daniel Montesinos Torres
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Work
Occupation
Plant Ecologist
Employment
  • Web Ecology
    Editor-in-Chief, 2012 - present
  • Center for Functional Ecology - Universidade de Coimbra
    Post-doctoral Researcher / Researcher (2014-), 2010 - present
  • The University of Montana
    Post-doctoral Researcher, 2008 - 2010
  • Generalitat Valenciana - Vaersa
    Natural Park Technician, 2006 - 2008
  • CSIC - CIDE
    Ph. D. student, 2001 - 2006
  • CISC - CIDE
    Research Assistant , 1998 - 2001
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Coimbra, Portugal
Previously
Missoula, MT (USA) - El Ballestar, Spain - Bloomington, IN (USA) - Uberlândia, Brasil - Swansea, Wales (UK) - València, Spain
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