Slime: my new love

Everybody loves slime, even more so when it’s clever problem solving slime. But no, I am not talking about ghost busters, this stuff is the real deal mmm slimey Slime moulds are single celled organisms, but can stretch many centimetres across. Packing millions of nuclei, they are currently considered protists (a group of life pretty much […]

Am I prepared for field work?

Have I got everything? Charity shop trousers, charity shop shirts (just for field work, honest) everything various shades of green, brown and beige to best hide the accumulated dirt. Where the hell did I leave the European plug adapter? Passport, still in data *phew* imodium (crickets wait for no man, or his bowels…). Travel? EasyJet […]

On the front lines: teaching as a research student

Teach a man to fish, and he will probably break your rod before catching anything. as analogies go, I’m pretty underwhelmed At least that is what used to be my feelings about teaching. Not being blessed with a great deal of natural patience, I always felt teaching was, while highly valuable, simply not for me. […]

Of aphids and ants: do mutualisms go awry?

Our group’s discussion this week was based on a topic I’ve always found fascinating: the ant aphid mutualism. Basically aphids eat loads of plant material (much to the chagrin of those with green thumbs) to get enough nitrogen in their diet (essential for building and repairing body tissue), but by a quirk of their metabolism the waste […]