Category Archives: Nerdery

IBS 2017: Weak case for experimental macroecology, dynamic macroecology on the rise, and the problem of process vs mechanism

By | January 17, 2017

I’ve returned from IBS meeting in Tucson. Here are my thoughts on experimental and dynamic macroecology, the two big issues discussed this year: Experimental macroecology needs better justification One entire morning was dedicated to experimental macroecology. Presented were results from small-grain manipulative experiments, sometimes replicated over large extents, sometimes not. However, it all felt like a… Read More »

On soil larvae, Beverly Hills, passion, macroecology, and the problem of describing what I do

By | December 3, 2015

I have always found it difficult to explain my profession to people. For my bachelor degree I studied larvae of inconspicuous flies (Insecta: Diptera: Therevidae) in soils of remote forests of central Europe. About five people around the world have ever heard of these flies, but I did not care as I was passionately in… Read More »

Simple template for scientific manuscripts in R markdown

By | March 12, 2015

I've made a really simple template for the classical manuscript format for R markdown and knitr. Here are the resulting .pdf and .html. The template contains the four usual components of any scientific manuscript: equations (using LaTeX syntax) table with caption (done by kable package, but you can also use xtable) figure with caption citations… Read More »

The man in the academic arena

By | October 20, 2014

Lately I went through a couple of ordinary academic failures. I had one manuscript rejected in three statistical journals in a row. I had another one rejected in Science, PNAS and PLoS Biology in a prompt sequence. Interestingly, among all of the six submissions only Science actually sent it out for review (and then rejected).… Read More »

Center for Theoretical Study, Prague: more intense than ivy league

By | October 8, 2014

I have recently been lucky to relocate from Yale to Center for Theoretical Study in Prague, Czech Republic. The institute brings together philosophers, mathematicians, physicists, sociologists, economists, biologists and others; it is similar to Santa Fe Institute or Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, and its aim is to stimulate interdisciplinary approaches to science, encouraging new… Read More »

The joy and martyrdom of trying to be a Bayesian

By | August 30, 2013

Some of my fellow scientists have it easy. They use predefined methods like linear regression and ANOVA to test simple hypotheses; they live in the innocent world of bivariate plots and lm(). Sometimes they notice that the data have odd histograms and they use glm(). The more educated ones use generalized linear mixed effect models.… Read More »

Is basic science infantile?

By | July 15, 2013

Time has an article on what happens when creative thinkers get the opportunity to set their minds free. The article begins at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and ends up as an essay on the old "rivalry" between basic and applied science. Opinions of two of the Institute's researchers are contrasted. Norwegian mathematician… Read More »

Where do birders go?

By | April 30, 2013

Yesterday during our spatial ecology class we explored geographic patterns of localities which bird observers like to go to in the US. Here is the map which I produced - it is based on eBird 3.0 reference dataset and it shows density of all birding checklist submitted between 2000 and 2012, at 10 x 10… Read More »

Generalization of Game of Life to a continuous domain

By | November 30, 2012

I was recently sitting in a small coffee place, chatting with physicist Noah Olsman. He always shows me catchy stuff. This time he came up with news from the cellular automata world: Stephan Rafler came up with a continuous-domain generalization of Conway's game of life (see my previous post for the discrete version - pure coincidence).… Read More »