So I’ve been very quiet lately here on the blog. This is, largely, because: academic job market. My search kicked up a notch this past semester, and I was 1) very busy with travelling for job interviews and 2) it’s considered gauche to talk about interviews while they’re ongoing. I was also busy with other things (y’know, research and teaching), but I’ll get into that in a bit, but for now, here’s the big announcement.
The Bahlai Lab of Applied Quantitative Ecology starts this fall at Kent State University, in the Department of Biological Sciences. It’s not a coincidence that the lab bears my name. It’s my lab.1
In the Bahlai Lab2, we focus on developing tools and metrics for better understanding the functional ecology of communities over time. Our two major areas of research are currently:
1) Studying the responses of insect predator-prey communities in response to disturbance, such as invasions and climate change
2) Developing break-point analysis tools to better quantify the impacts of change in long term ecological observations.
But more on that later. Lots, lots more 🙂
Incidentally, now that I’m on the other side, I’m allowed to talk about
fight club the academic job market, so I wrote a piece for American Scientist about it. It seems to be resonating with people, so go check it out.
The past semester was very full, as I mentioned. I taught another offering of Reproducible Quantitative Methods, this time to a group of 20. Projects (which are still ongoing) included examining the role of environmental drivers in rockhopper penguin egg size, a community and functional analysis of landscape and climate impacts on Midwest aphid populations, an integrated population model to better understand the trajectory of, and constraints on American woodcock population dynamics, and a data rescue project to digitally preserve the National Eutrophication database.
In my personal research, I’m also working on building out my technique for detecting regime shifts (ie- changes to the rules governing population regulation) in dynamic populations. Currently (like, literally, iterations 201-250 are running right now), I’m running simulated data through the model to determine which conditions it works best under. I’ll be applying it to case studies from insect populations, and seeing what we can see.
It’s going to be an exciting few months, as I transition from Mid-Michigan to Northeast Ohio. 🙂
1. [barely audible squeal of joy]
2. I like saying it. In the Bahlai Lab… Welcome to the Bahlai lab…