Author Archives: Joan E. Strassmann

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis

Your web page is out of date – how to fix this forever

I like looking at faculty web pages. I like seeing what they are up to, how they frame their research, who is on their team, and what excitement there is. It is really fun to see how much creative, collaborative … Continue reading

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Choosing a graduate program and advisor: avoid vampires

A vampire professor will suck you dry. They will rob you of your life essences. Exactly which essence they will remove might vary with professor. Some will suck away all your time. Such a professor will notice when you arrive … Continue reading

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What you really need instead of an elevator pitch

I bet you’re feeling a little guilty whenever someone asks you if you have an elevator pitch, you know, those 30 second or 1 minute talks about what you do that can be given in the time it takes to … Continue reading

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For your NSF proposal, fit your Broader Impacts to existing infrastructure

One of the challenges to writing a compelling Broader Impacts section in your grant proposal is that we are not generally educated in this area. We are not high school teachers. Most of us have never made a museum exhibit, … Continue reading

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Improv for scientific communication with Aniek Ivens

How I wish I understood you, but I have no idea what you are talking about. You seem friendly and animated and clearly love your research, but what is your question? Why do you like this figure so much? What … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Creativity, Science writing for the public, Scientific meetings, Talks | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The best job for an undergrad premed student

Before medical school in the USA, premed students can major in anything, provided they take a certain number of science courses and some other requirements. In addition to college, they shadow doctors, observe in clinics, and go on service trips … Continue reading

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What can you give others at a scientific meeting?

My undergraduate advisor, Richard Alexander of the University of Michigan once told me that there was nothing I could do better for my career than to give a great talk at a national meeting. Unfortunately, the converse was also true, … Continue reading

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