Margaret Kosmala

Author's details

Date registered: October 2, 2015
URL: http://margaretkosmala.com

Latest posts

  1. First steps — February 16, 2017
  2. A missing voice — February 8, 2017
  3. On requesting letters of recommendation — January 11, 2017
  4. First year retrospective — January 4, 2017
  5. How NOT to get a postdoc position — December 14, 2016

Most commented posts

  1. I am unwilling to relocate again (and it will probably cost me my academic “career”) — 77 comments
  2. Open data, authorship, and the early career scientist — 26 comments
  3. Ecology Bits is launched! — 14 comments
  4. When should I start a family? (Actual advice rather than platitudes for the early career academic) — 13 comments
  5. Observation as an essential ecology skill — 13 comments

Author's posts listings

How and when to tell your advisor you’re pregnant (or your partner is)

I have had the experience of telling three advisors I’m having a kid — two as a grad student and one as a postdoc. And probably because I’m a bit noisy, I’ve had others ask me for advice on how to tell their advisors that they’re about to become parents. Below is my suggested game …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/06/22/how-and-when-to-tell-your-advisor-youre-pregnant-or-your-partner-is/

Open data, authorship, and the early career scientist

About a year ago, my coauthors and I published a huge dataset of more than a million annotated images of animals from a camera trap network in the Serengeti. The lead author, Dr. Swanson, and I are both early career scientists, and we both put a ton of time and effort into this dataset. We …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/06/15/open-data-authorship-and-the-early-career-scientist/

Experiments in efficiency: cooking while peer-reviewing

In computer science, laziness is a virtue. The term “lazy” is basically used as a shorthand for saying you should strive for efficiency so you don’t spend time writing code you could have avoided writing if you’d been smarter about your coding design. I’ve always generally keep an eye towards efficiency in my work, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/06/08/experiments-in-efficiency-cooking-while-peer-reviewing/

Thoughts on my first double-blind peer review

Not too long ago I agreed to review a paper after skimming the abstract and looking up the journal. When I went to actually do the review, I saw that the journal has a double-blind policy, and so I couldn’t see the names or affiliations of the authors and they couldn’t see mine. (The latter …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/06/01/thoughts-on-my-first-double-blind-peer-review/

From the beginning: my path to ecology

Meg Duffy is collecting ecologists’ origin stories, and who doesn’t like to write about themselves? So here is my story of How I Became an Ecologist. My story begins on the high plains of the Great Karoo in South Africa. I’d never been anywhere like it. The land is flat and dry and ruddy, dotted …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/05/25/from-the-beginning-my-path-to-ecology/

Postdocs, don’t buy that yacht just yet

If you’re an early career scientist and you spent any amount of time on the interwebs this past week, you no doubt caught sight of headlines proclaiming great news for U.S. postdocs: “Postdoc pay to increase due to new overtime rule,” “US law could increase postdoc pay,” “Fair Pay for Postdocs.” Well, I hate to be …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/05/25/postdocs-dont-buy-that-yacht-just-yet/

When should I start a family? (Actual advice rather than platitudes for the early career academic)

Standard replies as to when to have kids when you’re on the academic path are: “there’s no good time” or “when it’s right for you” or “there are tradeoffs” or variations on these themes. While this advice is true, it’s also useless. And for people who are looking for actionable advice, it’s frustrating to not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/05/18/when-should-i-start-a-family-actual-advice-rather-than-platitudes-for-the-early-career-academic/

Let’s stop ignorance-shaming

The most egregious time I was ignorance-shamed I was working for a mid-sized non-profit whose mission was to raise money to fund cancer research. I had moved to a new city and had ended up at the non-profit through a temp agency; I worked part-time doing administrative tasks. While I was there, the executive director …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/05/12/lets-stop-ignorance-shaming/

Pie charts: seldom or never?

So, the other day, I was casually browsing Twitter when I saw that Meg Duffy had posted some preliminary results from her latest survey on authorship over at Dynamic Ecology. “Oooh, pretty graph,” I tweeted of her pie chart. To which, I received this reply: @margaretkosmala really? It’s terrible. Pie charts should just die @duffy_ma …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/05/04/pie-charts-seldom-or-never/

Scheduled Sanity Days

One of the challenges of academia is learning to work for yourself. Before my science life, I worked for a large bureaucracy, a small family business, and a medium-sized non-profit. And in all cases, someone else was telling me what to do. At the small business, my work was dictated to me on an hour-to-hour …

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Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/04/27/scheduled-sanity-days/

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