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Mechanistic Modelling in Ecology

posted on 2019-04-22

Few words in science are as imprecise as the term “modelling”. It is a term applied to a whole range of techniques, which often have nothing at all in common. Small wonder, then, that many of my ecologist colleagues don't know what I mean when I say that I am doing “mechanistic modelling”. This is an attempt to clear up that misunderstanding, and to explain where ecological modellers like myself fit into the wider landscape of ecological research.

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Communicating Science

posted on 2019-03-25

“What can we do to communicate our research to the public?” This was the question for a discussion session with some of my colleagues last week. Many scientists see the need for this kind of communication, but few know how to go about it, and even fewer actively do it. After all, how do you explain your work on, say, a channel protein of the Venus Flytrap to your neighbour, and why should he bother listening? It is a challenge. But believing that it's worth the effort to try, here are some general principles we found.

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Discworld MUD

posted on 2019-02-05

Imagine a game that lets you earn your way by writing poetry. A game in which you can go on hunting expeditions against fearsome monsters or campaign to be elected magistrate. A game where players run shops and newspapers, and organise tea parties and capture-the-flag tournaments. A game that has been online and in continuous development for almost three decades. Welcome to Discworld MUD.

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An Impression of Common Lisp

posted on 2018-12-04

Common Lisp is a lovely language to work with. Although it has faded into an unfortunate semi-obscurity on the modern computing landscape, it is still a powerful and elegant language that is a joy to use. I've had a lot of fun playing around with it and discovering more about it in the past two months, and wanted to record and share some of that in this post.

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My Journey to the Ants

posted on 2018-11-26

Ants have always been some of my favourite animals. As a child, I spent hours watching their work and their wars - watching and wondering. In fact, I know few biologists who are not fascinated by ants. I simply had the good fortune of growing up in a place where I had plenty of ant life to see. Having been back in Zambia for a few months, I was able to continue my observations. Here is a “best-of” reel: a small glimpse into the world of African ants.

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Unless otherwise credited all material Creative Commons License by Daniel Vedder.
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