March 31st & April 7th: Lia and Eleanor

SNACKS & "Who is Who":  Mara and Nick

What Makes a Good Discussion?

Which questions make for a good discussion?
What tricks have worked (or not) to stimulate discussion?
When is it appropriate to go back over the same point in a discussion?
How do you know when others have understood your point?
How do you pick a good paper for discussion?

We will spend the first hour talking about these things and surfing web of science to talk about evaluating a paper quickly and efficiently.

Roulin et al (2014) De Novo Transcriptome Hybrid Assembly and Validation in the European Earwig (Dermaptera, Forficula auricularia) PLoS One 9: e94098


Behavior paper:

Scott, M.P. (1998) The ecology and behavior of burrying beetles. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 43:595–618

Genomics paper:

Cunningham et al (2015) The Genome and Methylome of a Beetle with Complex Social Behavior, Nicrophorus vespilloides (Coleoptera: Silphidae). Genome Biology & Evolution 7:3383–3396.

And Beetles are in the News (click here):


Questions for reading (students must turn in sets 4 throughout semester):

  1. Make a list of terms that are new to you and do some research to understand them better.
  2. Restate the authors’ main hypotheses. What are they basing their predictions on?
  3. What are high throughput short reads and long reads? How are they used in this experiment?  
  4. This paper has a fairly complicated methodology. Shortly summarize the main aspects of the methods and what they contributed to the experiment.
  5. What do you think are values/limitations to this method (brute force genomics) of getting around the challenge of answering if a rather broad set of behaviors can be attributed to phylogeny or life history?
  6. Briefly, how do you think this paper and the behavioral paper are related? Could we tie them together into something more cohesive?
  7. Cunningham et al. sought to answer two main questions with their study. In your own words, what are those questions? Did you think they managed to answer them effectively? Why or why not?