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Biology

This category contains 197 posts

Reparations and Community Health

It is well documented that Black and other marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Rates of infection, hospitalization, and death are all higher for individuals who are Black compared to white. A new study led by Harvard Medical School examined how monetary reparations to the descendants of Africans enslaved in the US could … Continue reading

The role of climate change in the current pandemic

Most of the discussion around climate change and the current pandemic focuses on how actions to combat climate change have been set back by the battle against the covid-19 pandemic or perhaps the opportunity to integrate climate policy into the global and local recovery plans. But research by Beyer, Manica, and Mora (2021) indicates that … Continue reading

Wandering Brains

When I was a camp leader we used to joke that the secret to being a good leader was having a shorter attention span than the kids in the camp. I use a variation of this same philosophy in my teaching. I try to use a variety of different approaches to teaching and learning, and … Continue reading

All about puppies

I have an 8 week old puppy in the house and he’s making writing my blog post this week a little more challenging, so I thought I may as well use him for inspiration. I’ve noticed that if he can see the training food pieces he doesn’t really care that I have one in my … Continue reading

Birds that change colours AND wear snowshoes

I find ptarmigan quite fascinating. They live in alpine and tundra areas. These areas are not typically bird habitat, but ptarmigan like grouse primarily live on the ground. They walk around foraging for plants and occasional insects. They will live in these barren areas all year round, so it isn’t surprising that they are well … Continue reading

What kind of workout is cross country skiing?

On the surface, cross country skiing seems akin to something like running. You primarily work at a steady pace with occassional extra effort on a climb or a brief moment of respite downhill. However, competitive cross country skiers in both sprint and distance events have a much more variable output. In most races, the terrain … Continue reading

Do animals give each other gifts?

My cats latest favourite toys are pipe cleaners. They stole them off my desk when I was using them to model cell biology concepts in a video for my bio class and they never gave them back. During my workday it is fairly common for one of them to meow their way through the house … Continue reading

What’s in a (female’s) title?

The old John Cleese show Fawlty Towers had an episode that has always stuck in my mind. A couple is checking into the hotel and Cleese’s character Basil becomes ever more confused because the couple challenge his patriarchal views of the world. You see, both the husband and wife are doctors and therefore check-in as … Continue reading

Oh the drool!

I think about Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov surprisingly often. Every time my palm starts sweating before the physio comes to see me I think about Pavlov and his discovery of classical conditioning. But given that Pavlov’s original discovery involved salivating dogs, he has been even more present in my thoughts as I am often confronted … Continue reading

How a dog brings someone autonomy

I recently started volunteering as a dog raiser with a local service dog training organization Dogs With Wings. I have always been interested in how service dogs can support individuals. Part of my interest comes from the reality that our society is structured in such a way that it disables people who differ from what … Continue reading

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