Palynology from A to Z: A as in Aponogeton

One thing, full-blood scientists usually forget, is to advertise their work. Usually because they lack the time. I have plenty and started a series of daily threads on Twitter advertising palynological research. But my reach there is miniscule and the half-life of tweets is extremely short. Hence, this post series.

Are complete plastome trees always better? Maples, for instance.

With the advances in sequencing, it has become easy to compile complete chloroplast genomes (plastomes) for plants. Given you have the money and workforce. The People's Republic of China is rich in both; hence, gene banks fill up with complete plastomes of tree genera, otherwise ignored by the scientific world. Such as maples (Acer). Beware the fully resolved trees.

The stag cracked the 30

One of my favourite hobbies as a tax-paid scientist was to check and groom, once in a while, my "impact". I still check, out of curiosity and vanity, and just noticed that my stag cracked the thirty. A little reflection of self-inflating impact with some tips for the game.

Inferring a ML tree with 12000 (or more) virus genomes

Somebody on the RAxML group posted this as a bold question, asking for tips how to speed up the analysis. Since I recently looked at virus genomes (infamous SARS group) myself, I have some ideas for this.

Now that RAxML includes all models – a practical tip

The new, faster and (meanwhile) very option-rich version of RAxML, RAxML-NG provides the full plethora of nucleotide substitution models, which can be confusing to the normal user. Hence, a practical tip based on my experiences with very different sets of nucleotide data (and from very different organisms).

Why I never published a "total evidence" tree

Triggered by a support question on the RAxML google group, I pondered the question whether it makes sense (anymore) to use the total evidence approach to place fossils.

The Easter Egg featuring Earth, live

For this Eastern, I'll advertise something colourful to turn our eyes back from ourselves to the planet we inhabit: a live simulation/representation of Earth's dynamic surface and atmosphere.

Scientists = surveyed customers? Bite me.

Science is good business. Especially since the public hand pays for most of it, via salaries and research grants, library conscriptions ensuring high profits for science publishers, providing infrastructure and – at least in western welfare states – students. An invitation for a customer survey.

Surviving parsimonists: just tree-naive or tree-blindfolded?

A generation ago, an epic battle took place, largely unnoticed outside mathematical and biological sciences: the Phylogenetic Wars. By the mid-1990s, the war was over and probabilistic methods for tree-inference replaced traditional parsimony. But there is a small, quite dusty realm that still pretends nothing happened: palaeontology. A long read about undervalued data and stubborn old white men.

Tempolimit? Nein, danke! Realsatire? Bitte mehr!

Dank Trumpelchen, des First Toddlers of the United States, Bojos Mojo und ähnlicher Gestalten ist es schwierig geworden, Satire und Realpolitik auseinanderzuhalten. Und die CSU ist wie immer vorne mit dabei bei dem neuen Trend.

And the laughter dies

Germans are generally not known for their sense of humour (although this is a gross-generalisation, German humour can be quite diverse, and differs from region to region). But there are exceptions. However, these days, it's the audience who gets at you.