More Minnow Misconceptions

Today’s facts may be tomorrow’s fallacies. And last Thursday, I got a serious reminder that science is a progressive continuum of new discoveries, and not a static body of facts. I study minnows, and last year I wrote a post to clear up some misconceptions about minnows. Things like how many small fishes are called…

Book review: the Squidtoons comic

This is the coolest piece of #scicomm I’ve seen in a while: Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics by Garfield Kwan and Dana Song. Squidtoons has been ‘illustrating science with farts, burps, and giggles’ since 2013. Their website features entertaining comics packed with info on the amazing diversity of marine life, including a 2016 collaboration…

The ideal invasive fish

There are hundreds of non-native fishes in the US. Some become harmful invaders, while others have established, but aren’t causing appreciable negative effects. As human transport networks continue to facilitate new introductions, it makes sense to ask, ‘is there something special about certain fishes that make them invasive?’. This isn’t a new idea—plant ecologists have discussed…

Communicating science through digital media

If a scientist conducts research, and never tells anyone, did they really do it? Scientists communicate with one another in very specific ways: peer-reviewed journal articles and technical presentations. However, most journal articles largely go unread and conference audiences can be limited.. Public trust in science is decreasing, so it’s our job to help them understand the…

What’s Your Story?

I just read For the Love of Rivers by Kurt Fausch. It came out a couple years ago when I was a postdoc, but I just got around to reading it because, as it turns out, postdocs don’t have a whole lot of spare time for leisure reading. For the Love of Rivers describes the…

How do fish handle cold water?

Summertime’s come and gone, and winter has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. Inland waters across North America are cooling down, and many will soon be covered with ice. Winter can be hard on fishes, being poikilotherms that can’t regulate their own body temperature (with some exceptions). So just how do they make it through this…

Coming to ‘terms’ with species invasions

Believe it or not, fish don’t care what we call them. However, terminologies associated with certain species can affect how society perceives their importance and impact. Naturalists have been interested in the effects of species introductions just as long as we have been moving species around. In that time, species introductions have had a variety…

Hurricane effects on fish…Revisited

by Troy Farmer, guest writer Given the active Atlantic hurricane season of 2017, now seems like an appropriate time to revisit a topic previously covered by the Fisheries Blog: hurricane effects on fish. Hurricanes impact our society in numerous ways, as many along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are currently experiencing. Given the destructive…

How (not to) fail grad school

Grad students can be successful for countless reasons, depending on their unique projects and experiences. But unsuccessful grad students have several things in common. Fall semester starts this week at many universities, and lots of grad students are taking the leap for the first time. Here are a few tips. I finished grad school in…

Minnow misconceptions

Just like they say, ‘more species, more problems’…well, we’ve got lots of problems. The minnow family—Cyprinidae (Sy-Prin-I-Dee)—is the largest freshwater fish family in the world, boasting over 3,000 species from ~370 genera. But because of that great diversity, minnows are one of the most misunderstood groups of fishes on the planet. As a scientist who…