After a run of almost forty pieces, my natural history column for The Hindu Businessline's BLInk is now on an indefinite (likely permanent) hiatus. Here are the last three columns I wrote: About the human and biological history of an iconic little fish. About the world of microbes, and how they change our perceptions of nature. About … Continue reading A Final Creature Feature Round-Up
In my major Ph.D. project, I questioned the idea that territoriality is a good or useful description of Anolis lizards' mating systems. When I began working on this question, I planned to primarily use an empirical approach, measuring the movement patterns and mating patterns of a population of Anolis sagrei in a way that didn't depend on territoriality. … Continue reading Territoriality: Attempting a One-Two Punch
My column is back! It's in the Hindu Businessline's BLink, and is on the natural history of all kinds of organisms. Here's what's been published so far in this second iteration: September 2017: A piece on migrating loons, change, and death, in memory of Dr. Terry Wheeler. October 2017: About asking scientific questions from within and outside … Continue reading Hey Look, Creature Feature is Back!
I’ve been puzzling over this for years—what does it mean to be me, when me is a scientist and also a woman and also Indian? I cannot conform to all of the stereotypes of each of these identities, or the sub-identities they contain—they are, in totality, mutually exclusive. But I also cannot resist all of … Continue reading Impostor Syndrome and a Sense of Self
In July, I was writing a paper that is, in part, about sexual selection on body size in Anolis lizards. I had found, as is common in many animals, that sexual selection favours bigger males, and was arguing that this might be tantamount to selection favouring older males because, well, animals grow. I was agonizing … Continue reading Animals Grow: How an Idle Tweet led us to uncover a Whimsical Academic Exchange
I woke up annoyed at how much the world seems to enjoy hating Rupi Kaur (I discovered both people raving about this piece of scholarly criticism and this genre of parody yesterday). Well, not exactly. I woke up perfectly happy and excited to finish the book that I’m reading, and then went downstairs to brew coffee … Continue reading Stop Bashing Rupi Kaur
Some days ago, a friend in academia sent me this question to ponder (mildly edited, and excerpted with permission): I am heartened to see increasing visibility and discussion around anxiety in academia. I was curious as to your thoughts on why so many graduate students, postdocs, and professors struggle with this. Are those folks who … Continue reading A Conversation about Mental Wellness and an Important Distinction…(3/n)
In the last while, there have been blogposts and tweet chains about the disparaging and derogatory comments that women and minorities in academia are frequently at the receiving end of. I've thought about commenting, thought about adding to growing lists that sound all too familiar. But then something weird happened--I couldn't remember enough specifics, and … Continue reading I Have Forgotten.
I'm sitting here amidst boxes and garbage bags, loading up a moving pod and heading diagonally across the US on Thursday. Last week, as I prepared for this, I was gripped with a sudden fear that maybe I wouldn't make any friends in the place that was meant to be my future home. The idea … Continue reading Staying in Touch
Some months ago, I wrote about the long-overdue steps I've been taking, with help from all around me, towards maintaining better mental health. Since then, I've been chugging along, and wanted to write an update post with a couple of new practices I've been finding very helpful, but writing this post didn't seem especially urgent, … Continue reading More on Mental Wellness (2/n)