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Dan Levitis
I'm the one on the left.
I'm the one on the left.

Dan's posts

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Friendly Adivce for Your First NSF Pre-proposal
It is going to be okay. Very okay. Let's start with the important information that until last month I, like anyone who needs to read this post, had never applied for, let alone received, US National Science Foundation research funding. Having been out of th...

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Large Alligators, explained.
I've now seen several reactions to this video shouting questions like, "Why aren't they all dead?!",
"Why aren't they running for their lives!?" Well, sit yerself down my friend, I'm going to be brief. 1. Telephoto lens makes that ol' gator look bigger and

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Advantitious knowledge
Joseph Grinnell, eminent ecologist and zoologist of the early 20th century, and founding Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology , where I was a graduate student, wrote some hilarious stuff. Google Scholar lists 376 publications in his name, most of wh...

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How to tell if your aphid is done reproducing.
If you want to know if a parthenogenetic pea aphid is all done reproducing, look at her abdomen. If there are eyespots, she still has embryos in her. If not, she's done. If she is post-reproductive, she's likely to move to the edge of the colony, where risk...

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How not to respond to unhelpful peer reviewers
For as long as I've been a scientist, and longer, there has been extensive discussion on the many ways that peer review is broken. Peer review is how, in theory, science gets evaluated and hopefully improved, before publication, and therefore hard to dispen...

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Ghosts of papers that may some day be
The world is full of science that only half exists:
Experiments done but not written up, manuscripts waiting for revision, results
too unimpressive to prioritize for publication. Where fetuses are gestated for
months but born in hours, data sets often take ...

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Why we cosleep with our infant and you (perhaps) should too
The feeling of a soft little one gradually melting into my arms is lovely, and I wouldn't soon give up rocking my baby to sleep. That said, shifting from foot to foot in the dark several hundred times night after night can get repetitive. So tonight, as I w...

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Leucistic Chickadee
We've intentionally left some dead wood and tangled sticks in the cedars at the back of our yard. This morning during breakfast a very light colored bird caught my eye. It didn't strike me as any bird I know. I ran to find my binoculars and camera. It helpf...

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Not for the sake of the species
I frequently come across statements implying that a particular trait evolved because it increases the fitness of the species or that a behavior observed in some animal exists because it helps the species. I hear this from not only members of the general pub...

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Decleration of intent to start blogging again, I hope.
In some weird way things have settled down enough that I can consider blogging (briefly) again. I do miss it. So much to say, so little time. Much of my blogging will likely be done late in the evening while holding my tiny baby and listening to my sleeping...
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