New video short about my work!

I am excited to hereby release this 3 min short about my work. With support from the Zukunftskolleg, I teamed up with Berlin filmmaker Nicolas Buenaventura to create this video to provide a visual overview of my research. It also gives some nice insights about the various aspects of my work, from catching fish, setting-up experimental systems, writing my own recording and tracking software, to analysing data.

Interview in Kosmos magazine

I was honoured to be invited for an interview in Humboldt Kosmos magazine a couple months ago. Great to now see the full two-page article out in print! Had fun with the photoshoot in my chest wader ;) You can read the full article by clicking the image below.

New video of three-spine stickleback in my lab

Today I took a new video of the stickleback in my lab to use to talk about my work and these amazing fish during public lectures and conference presentations!

What you can see really well in this short little video is the large morphological and behavioural variation of the fish. Despite being similar in age the fish are quite different in body size as well as their colouration. Also pay attention to the spines, you can see individual fish often raising their spines at the moment they feel threatened by my presence.

One of the social housing tanks I use to house some of my hundreds of little stickebacks

One of the social housing tanks I use to house some of my hundreds of little stickebacks

Public engagement: create interactive scientific plots online

I’m always looking for ways to make my science more interactive with the public. What better way then to visualise your data and to make them dynamic and playable! I recently found out about, a website that enables you to create very beautiful plots that are fully customisable and embeddable and allow manipulation and interaction from your website visitors.

What I particularly like is its link with ggplot2 in R. With some simple lines of code you can easily make a plot you created for your scientific publication interactive and online. As an example, I will create an online interactive version of one of the plots in my recent paper on leadership in sticklebacks:

Here is the online interactive version. Hover over the point and try to drag the plot or zoom in and out:

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Timelapse video of a boldness session

Continuing on from yesterday’s post about the personality testing for boldness, today I made a time-lapse video from one of the sessions to get a quick overview of the actual running of the experiment. For most experiments I work with 40-64 fish per batch and potentially run multiple batches. Therefore, to be able to test all fish on the same day I test 8 fish simultaneously in 8 separate lanes for one hour and run 8 consecutive sessions in a row.
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Home to work at my Cambridge lab

I am working on a short film about my research at the University of Cambridge that will showcase the fascinating aspects of animal personality as well as depict a day in the life of a behavioural scientist, from wading through wild streams catching sticklebacks to doing experiments in my underground lab in the centre of Cambridge. As inspirations for the short, I will be posting short clips here on my blog. This first one shows my daily commute from my house out in the west of Cambridge to my basement laboratory at the department of Zoology.