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

Can we fix inequity in awards for women scientists?

Unfairness to women in academic recognition is common. Anne Lincoln and co-authors, for example published on the Matilda Effect on awards and prizes in science. Women achieve much more for much less recognition, if they get credit for their own … Continue reading

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Grant review: best proposal or most needy scientist?

In a few short hours I read nine proposals from graduate students interested in funding for their research. Because this was a focused call, they were largely similar. They all involved field work, natural history, and queries into the relationship … Continue reading

Posted in Awards and prizes, Graduate school, Grant proposals, Grants, NSF | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Can you answer this crucial scientific question?

“Where did you see that,” may not seem like the most crucial question, but for natural science, history, geography, archaeology, and many other fields, provenance is crucial information. The volunteers that keep eBird useful will challenge you if you claim … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Field work, Research | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will your paper meet the reporting checklist requirements for Nature Ecology and Evolution?

Perhaps one of the biggest shocks to students new to research is how slow and painstaking it is. More than one has decided it is no fun at all, nothing like reading cool articles or watching nature videos. And I’m … Continue reading

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What is your anxiety telling you?

Megan Duffy had a thoughtful post on not inducing anxiety in others. She mentioned the specific case of reducing anxiety in others by being really clear. Instead of saying something like meet me Thursday, say why. I agree that getting … Continue reading

Posted in Managing an academic career, Mentoring, Social interactions, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you get into that popular course?

Perhaps the most important thing to learn from this blog is that people who are confident will not let the rules restrict them if there is something they want. I’m not talking about scary serious rules like driving on the … Continue reading

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Grading ruins teaching

I do not want to hear one more word about grade inflation. I do not want to hear one more word complaining about today’s students. I want to hear about why so many professors and teachers have decided we are … Continue reading

Posted in learning, Teaching | Tagged , , | 1 Comment