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

Get your undergrads thinking about analysis from the start

The last post talked about making sure undergrads get the big picture of their questions. This is essential, but it is not the end. All too often analysis is left for the end and there is no exploring. Ideally, students … Continue reading

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Do your undergrads actually understand their summer research project?

All over the country, undergraduates are embarking on research projects. They are banding birds, squeezing ticks for parasites, culturing bacteria, seining streams, cutting open mice, and many other things. If you ask them what they are doing, they will be … Continue reading

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We have a position for a postdoc on amoeba-bacteria symbiosis available immediately!

Finally we got the call from NSF that our grant proposal was being recommended for funding in full. This new funding uses the social amoeba bacteria symbiosis to tease out exactly how mutualisms work, with both empirical work and theory. … Continue reading

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What professors really want from graduating students

It is that happy-sad time of year when students I cherish move on to the next step. They have been in our research lab for one year or for four. They have taken classes from us and have learned from … Continue reading

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Send in a title the minute you agree to give a talk!

There are lists of talks for the semester on our department web page. There are compiled lists for the university, weekly blasts, summer lists, and more. All too often most of these talks have an author listed with the talk … Continue reading

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Why vacations matter for work excellence

Everyone says that vacations refresh. But what do they mean by that? Are vacations just good for the person and the spirit or do they actually improve work? Here, I’ll discuss one point for the latter. It may even apply … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, efficiency, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacations | 1 Comment

Who is your lab aya?

  Last Monday I met with Alicia Hubert, our lab technician before she moves on to a fulfilling job in sustainability. I wanted to understand in more detail exactly what she did for us. I knew she did research, running … Continue reading

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