Forelius naming contest update!

Tagul Word cloud in the shape of an ant of all ant name submissions


Wow! When I sat down to compile a complete list of all of our submissions for our ant naming contest, I had no idea how many creative, hilarious and thoughtful suggestions there would be from our citizen scientists! We had so many wonderful submissions from scientists, Darwin Day museum visitors, blog commenters, entire elementary school classrooms and teachers. It has been entirely too much fun to sift through all of the names and reasons for giving Forelius […]

By | February 28th, 2013|ants, Events, News, Participate, Projects|2 Comments

For real? Forelius pruinosus doesn’t have a common name?

Today, we have a new challenge for you. It’s rather a fun one. If you don’t think so, then you can blame Dr. Eleanor (of the Common Book of Ants fame).

You see, as Dr. Eleanor was writing a new chapter about the ant, Forelius pruinosus, she took note that this very common, dare we say ubiquitous, ant had no common name. It lacked a snazzy moniker to set it apart from all the other common ants with interesting and descriptive names – ants like the big-headed ant, the carpenter ant, or the thief ant.

And while, […]

By | February 15th, 2013|ants, Events, News, Participate, Projects|72 Comments

Invisible names

Maybe it has something to do with the excessive amounts of matching and memory games I played as a tot. Or why flash cards have always been a go-to study aid (even for remembering the names of students in lab sections I taught in grad school).

I like knowing names. I like using names. Whether it’s a wildflower I spot on a nature walk or a person I bump into at a Science Café. And it kills me when I know a name, but can’t recall it. Or worse yet, when I use the wrong name.

It could also just be a […]

By | January 9th, 2013|News, Reading List, Stories of Your Wild Life|0 Comments

Evolutionary Biology of the Built Environment Working Group: Call for Participants

The Basics: We need your help. We are organizing the first working group aimed at understanding the evolutionary biology of the built environment—our bedrooms, our houses, our backyards and our cities. This working group will occur June 10 – 14, 2013, in Durham, North Carolina. We are now inviting applications for participants in the working group.

Why: As recently as one hundred thousand years ago the indoor environment did not exist. Yet, this is now where most humans spend the majority of their life. One might imagine that in its relatively short history the built environment might have had […]

By | January 8th, 2013|Events, News, Participate|1 Comment

Honoring a scientific revolutionary

Sad news spread throughout the scientific community as 2012 came to a close.

Biophysicist and evolutionary microbiologist Carl Woese died on December 30, 2012. In 1977, Woese discovered a whole new domain of life (the archaea), shaking up our understanding of the evolutionary tree and establishing that all life on earth was related.

Rob wrote about Woese in his book, Every Living Thing, and has re-posted the chapter about Woese in tribute. He writes:

Thank you Carl Woese. Thank you for rearranging the evolutionary tree, that we might see, even if we just as quickly forget, our place in things.