Welcome to Science with a Funguy!
Hello and Welcome to Science With A Funguy, where a biologist will walk you through news and perspectives about biology-related research.
Science is not memorizing a bunch of facts, but instead is a process that leads us to the most informed, evidence-based understanding we can have at a given moment. As new technology and data arises, science demands that our scientific opinions and understandings change to incorporate the new findings.
MY MISSION AND WHAT I PLAN TO WRITE
My mission is to explain science in an accessible way that will spark and nurture an appreciation for the scientific process, create curiosity and love for the nature and life around us, and appeal to both scientists and non-scientists alike. I will show the scientific process in action by walking through new research publications and explaining, not only the new and fascinating findings, but also how the scientists found them. I want to show the scientific process is not specific to scientists – it is a powerful method for everyone to use.
At times, the biological complexity in the story may get a little high, but I will work hard to make it easily digestible. I want to maintain some complexity for three reasons: (1) Sometimes watering down information can lose meaning and I want to be as accurate as possible. (2) I do not want you to just believe me; I want you to have an understanding so that you can come to your own conclusions. (3) I want you to feel like a member of the science community. Some articles may be easier to read than others but I promise to always work diligently to figure out the best ways to present information to you.
I plan to write about diverse fields in biology, ranging anywhere from ecology and evolution down to the molecular mechanisms behind cancer. The format of posts will often times consist of summaries of a recent research publication, an explanation of how a specific lab technique works, or a mini-review about a general topic. I will ensure all information here is supported by scientific literature and links will be provided so that you have the option to read the literature further.
Since I do research full time, and have a wife and daughter, the time between articles may vary. I will try and get a new article out anywhere from once a week to once a month.
But before you read articles by me, you should know about my background in biology…
MY BACKGROUND AS A BIOLOGIST
Since I was young, I have had a love for wildlife and the outdoors. My family was always going on fishing and camping trips, which drove my passion for biology. When it came time to choose a career path at the end of high school, many people directed my passion for biology toward the medical field. Learning about the human body and helping people sounded like a great gig, so off I went and became a registered nurse.
I enjoyed working as a registered nurse but always felt like something was missing. I had an insatiable hunger to read and learn new things in all kinds of biology-related topics and really felt a pull toward research. A nursing supervisor I worked with (who also happened to be a paleontologist!) took a notice and pushed me to go back to school. This led me to obtain my PhD in biological sciences from the University at Buffalo. Here, I worked on my dissertation and gathered knowledge on genetics, signaling, ecology, evolution, and cell/molecular biology.
Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher studying how cells make decisions. More specifically, I use baker’s yeast (i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a model to understand how signaling pathways integrate information to make cellular decisions in different environments. I am also interested in understanding how a signaling pathway may function a little differently between individuals. [You can learn more about my research and experience here].
As I was obtaining my PhD, I picked up experience in teaching by being a teaching assistant in Biochemistry and Evolutionary Biology. I also gained experience in science writing through course work and writing research publications. My interest in both teaching and writing grew, and so I began to guest post on blogs, such as on Massive Science and The Molecular Ecologist. Now, my interest in science communication has grown to a pivotal point where starting my own blog just seems a necessity. So here we both are…
In this day and age, good science communication is critical for the future health of science, especially when there is so much information out there – and not all of it is trustworthy. Good science communication is important both within the science community and with the public. Scientists need to be aware of what other scientists are doing, as well as the public needs to know and understand why the science is important. Let’s be honest, for science to be impactful, what is done in the lab has to make it out into the world and ignite interest in others.
That is why I enjoy writing about diverse-biology-related research to spread evidence-based information to other scientists and the public in an accessible way. That is what has driven my interests up to this point, and that will always be the goal at the forefront of Science With A Funguy.
Please note: feedback is always welcomed (and encouraged), so feel free to email me or leave a comment with any questions or suggestions. Also, do not forget to subscribe by email for updates and follow the blog on Twitter and Instagram! I look forward to writing for you!
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