The Kaspari Lab

Category: Doing Science


The Ten Principles of Ecology

I have been teaching a course called “Principles of Ecology” at OU since 1996. It was a traditional two one-hour lecture, one three-hour lab for most of those years. In 2013, I decided to flip the course, converting the lectures…

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A short essay on Koechner’s Criterion and its relationship to success in Grad School

Where I coin Koechner’s Criterion and run with it

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What journal gets the first peek at your manuscript? Results from a year of ruminating.

The manuscript’s done. Now what?

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On the salutary effect of the Kudos Email

If you like someone’s work, don’t just cite them, write them!

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On writing a strong NSF pre-proposal

Its been 4 years since NSF DEB began to require pre-proposals. What makes a strong one?

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Lightning strikes 14 times at a conference session: exploring multi-element limitation at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation meetings.

Reported by Mike Kaspari, Kyle Harms, and Jennifer Powers Meetings are a vital part of the process of science. We meet with colleagues old and new, exchange ideas, schmooze, and testify. At the same time, these conferences are expensive in…

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Canopy and understory microclimates – how are the ants handling them?

The author, Jelena Bujan, in the canopy of Pseudobombax septenatum, a deciduous tree with smooth green bark. Jelena is completing her third field season on Barro Colorado Island, in Panama.  In tropical forests, is frequently assumed that canopies are “deserts”…

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Politics 101 for Academics

Politics is the art of the possible. Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. I’ve known both quotes for a while, but as I just now looked them up, I discovered they have the…

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The joy of click

Wienieish or not, I was actually chasing a special sort of buzz, a special moment that comes sometimes. One teacher called these moments “mathematical experiences.” What I didn’t know then was that a mathematical experience was aesthetic in nature, an…

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Oh, snap!, molecular biology

I know, I know. Molecular biologists are an easy target for us field types. Just the other day Dr. Corrie Moreau, ant systematist extraordinaire, repeated an old joke with gusto over a Friday Skype: So a stranger comes up to a sheepherder and…

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