Animal Behavior Society 2020 virtual meeting

The Animal Behavior Society conference was this week, and we were thrilled to take part in this virtual meeting with talks by Ilias, Erin, Paisley, Roz and Sam!

Here’s Ilias on the question of what makes a hummingbird unpredictable:

Erin presented her research on bird collisions and why some bird species are especially prone to mortality:

Paisley and I talked about recent work on social networks in wire-tailed manakins with coauthor Brandt Ryder:

Thanks to the organizers who put together an online meeting on short notice. We really enjoyed it and I think the quality of the talks was better than any meeting I’ve been to before. We missed the real socializing but found the virtual format to even the playing field in some ways with more opportunity for questions & discussion.

#elxn42 Burnaby debate

My friend Terry Beech is running for parliament in the Burnaby North-Seymour riding. Charlie and I are helping with his campaign – Charlie is his campaign manager, and I’m part of his team of volunteers. It’s shaping up to be an exciting three-way race between Terry (the Liberal), Mike Little (Conservative), and Carol Baird-Ellan (NDP). The press has highlighted Burnaby North-Seymour as a “riding to watch”. Go Terry!

One of the highlights was attending a local candidates debate last week.

Continue reading →

Dennis Hlynsky’s small brains en masse

Dennis Hlynsky’s videos are among the best things I’ve seen online recently. Check ’em out:

Hlynsky uses frame-blending to great effect, to give you a sense of overall motion trajectories. When he turns his lens on animals, the results are both beautiful (see fruit flies paint a still life here), and an exciting way to visualize huge amounts of data. It’s got me thinking I could use this method to illustrate the 100s of hummingbird flights in our latest experiment here at UBC in a single animation.

Thanks to Suzanne Amador Kane for pointing these out to me!