Oceans of Biodiversity

Research Group

Who profits $$$ from our scientific publications?

We should think carefully about where we publish. Not only should we ask ourselves if the journal is appropriate (right audience) and well-respected (who else publishes there and who is on the Editorial Board), but who profits from our work. Apparently, the big...

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Not too late to save ocean life: here is how

History tells us that, as human populations expanded from Africa, there was a coincidental extinction of large animals in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. People then could not have known that their hunting was causing global-scale extinction of...

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Doing time-efficient peer-reviews of scientific papers

One needs to be time-efficient in doing peer review. If one followed the lengthy guidelines provided by some journals to do peer-review it could take days. I suggest it should not take more than the time to read the paper twice and write up one's comments, so perhaps...

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Tips for writing a thesis

The best tip is to start writing now, as soon as you start the research. Do not wait until after you have some data. The thesis is the only thing examined for a PhD, and sometimes for an MSc. It does not matter how much lab and field work you did. Nor how many...

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Choosing a MSc or PhD supervisor

In an ideal world, you find your passion and get a scholarship to study it with a leading expert in the field. I had friends who did unexciting PhDs and then switched to their passion, and never looked back. A PhD is foremost, training in science. Keeping this in...

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Addressing harassment, racism, bullying and discrimination

Recent terrorist events in New Zealand and around the world have prompted reflection on how such hate and discrimination arises in a society, whether considered racism or other forms of harassment and bullying. The latter anti-social behaviours may underlie and lead...

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Tips for preparing for a PhD viva voce or defence

The process for examining and approving a PhD varies a lot between countries. In continental Europe, science theses are a set of papers copied into a single volume with appropriate introductory and synthesis chapters. Some universities have internal and external...

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Tips on ‘Species Distribution Modelling’ using MaxEnt

By Dinusha Jayathilake, University of Auckland What is Species Distribution Modeling (SDM)? SDM is a numerical tool to predict the potential distribution of a given species or a set of species by combining the occurrence records and environmental variables layers...

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Dealing with stress

A recurring ‘issue’ amongst graduate students and post-docs is dealing with stress. Perhaps the most useful short course I ever did was in stress management. I wish I had done it years earlier. This post is not about the good stress; the stress that helps us focus,...

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The “SSV Robert C. Seamans” returns to Auckland!

Am amazing opportunity for students is to spend a Semester at sea, doing research and learning about the ocean, sailing, navigation, Pacific cultures, maritime history, marine biology, oceanography and more. One such programme has visited New Zealand for a few years...

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Tips when selecting biodiversity data from GBIF and OBIS

What kind of data are available? The data comprise of records of the occurrence of a species or higher taxon (sometimes animals and plants can only be identified to Genus or Family) in a place at a particular date. Most records include latitude and longitude...

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Tips for designing a scientific POSTER

Having reviewed posters for awards several times at conferences and university competitions, here is my hit list of where many posters win and fail in content and design. In content The key message and findings are hard to find. The novel aspects of the research are...

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What factors influence citation rates of scientific papers?

It is increasingly important for scientists careers and their institutons reputations that their papers are highly cited. So what factors increase citation rates?  We recently analysed citation rates of about 6,000 papers published in the journal Biological...

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Why study marine science at the University of Auckland?

Why study marine science? Jobs There are jobs in government and crown agencies, regional councils, universities, consulting companies, teaching, and commercial companies (fisheries, aquaculture, food processing) Wisdom Most of our planet is ocean, so understanding the...

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Journals free to authors and readers

The wave of open-access journals shifts the cost of access from readers to authors. The older former print-only publishers charge authors over $2,000 or more per paper. Comparison with new scholarly journals who are also open-access but only charge authors $100's to...

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