ABOUT GrrlScientist

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grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands.

A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. She writes the popular eponymous science blog hosted by The Guardian (UK) and is working on a popular science book about plumage colour. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots — and a slightly deaf spouse — somewhere in Germany.

 

GrrlScientist: All Posts

 
 

Birdbooker Report 378

Posted 22 June 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more

Journal Club: Birds identify good nuts by listening to them

Posted 16 June 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Wild birds identify “good” seeds without first opening the shells by weighing them and by listening to the sound produced when clicking their beaks on the shell, according to a recent study A previous study suggested that birds prefer seeds or nuts that are heavier or denser (Heinrich et al, 1997), but there has been very little research in the ensuing twenty years into which sensory cues are used by birds to make these important decisions. To investigate, an... Read more

Birdbooker Report 376-7

Posted 15 June 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more

Birdbooker Report 375

Posted 1 June 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more

Birdbooker Report 373-4

Posted 25 May 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more

Birth of the blue morphos

Posted 18 May 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Today’s “Museum Monday” features a visit to the Natural History Museum’s new Sensational Butterflies exhibition, where we watch a time-lapse video of their blue morpho butterflies emerging from chrysalises The Natural History Museum’s filmmakers recently captured a time-lapse video of the first of their blue morpho butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. These butterflies are now on view in their “Sensational Butterflies” exhibition. Several species of butterflies are commonly known as “blue morphos” so the specific (species) name often precedes... Read more

Birdbooker Report 372

Posted 11 May 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more

Journal Club: Birdfeeding favours non-native bird species

Posted 5 May 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Feeding urban birds on bread and seed encourages high densities of introduced bird species at the expense of native species, thereby altering bird communities in cities, according to a new study Feeding wild birds is a hugely popular pastime worldwide. But this is essentially a massive global supplementary feeding experiment with ecological effects that are poorly understood. A newly-published study of bird feeding in New Zealand reports that the common practice of feeding bread and seed alters the species... Read more

Birdbooker Report 371

Posted 4 May 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more

Birdbooker Report 370

Posted 27 April 2015 by GrrlScientist

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more