Hypotheses are over-rated. Don’t let them ruin your writing.

It starts, like all great stories do, with Lavender. When I was a PhD student, one of my projects was to study time-series of bacteria-bacteriophage infection networks in the soil. We had a little plot of soil, about 10 cm by 50 cm, in one of the remote university “green” spaces (Montpellier in the summer is the brownish kind of green). On day 1, we got our five soil samples, and started isolating them in the lab. Then after a week, we thought it was time for another sample. Took a fork and some falcon tubes (we were good at improv science), headed down the stairs. No more soil plot. It had been replaced by the loveliest arrangement of rocks, fresh soil, and lavender plants I had ever seen. No more plot, no more sampling, no more project, no more paper.

Continue reading Hypotheses are over-rated. Don’t let them ruin your writing.

What I look for in a Software paper.

I read, review, edit (and write) a lot of papers describing software for ecological research. So much so that I ended up developing a taste for it, and I thought it may be relevant to share it. This may also be the last blog post until September, so enjoy!

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Ecology’s unhealthy obsession with patterns

Don’t we love patterns? This is, after all, one of the purpose of ecology as a science: to describe and document what it is, exactly, that species and individuals and communities and ecosystem do. And in order to do so, we look at them, and transcribe what we see. And so if you happen to find a pattern, this is noteworthy ecology that should be published, whereas the lack of a pattern means the opposite. And now, please, this madness has to stop.

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