About

About Me

I’m an evolutionary ecologist and entomologist at the University of New Brunswick. Before joining UNB, I was on the faculty at the University of Iowa.  I did my undergraduate work at the University of Waterloo, a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania (with Bob Ricklefs), and a postdoc at the University of British Columbia (with Dolph Schluter).

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Most of my current research has to do with plant-insect interactions and with the evolution of new biodiversity.  But when I’m not doing research, I think about a lot of quasirandom things.  I blog about some of them here.

I’ve also written two books.  My guidebook for scientific writers is The Scientist’s Guide to Writing (Princeton University Press, 2016; and 2nd edition, 2022 ).  And my first for the general public is Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider: How Scientific Names Celebrate Adventurers, Heroes, and Even a Few Scoundrels (Yale University Press,  2020).  You can read more about it here.

Sometimes people ask if I have a Patreon or a Ko-fi.  I don’t.  But if you enjoy what you read here, and want to say thanks, then here are a couple of thing you can do that won’t cost you a cent.

Comment Moderation

Please comment on my blog posts! Discussion, including disagreement (perhaps especially disagreement), makes the content here more interesting and helps us all learn.

However, please help me keep the comments section a positive environment. I’d like it to feel like a conversation among friends that anyone can join. Your comments should be:

  • Relevant to the post or comment thread in question.
  • Clearly intended for more than just promotional purposes. That is, by all means please provide links to relevant content elsewhere; but please indicate how your link is relevant.
  • Respectful, civil, and constructive in language, tone, and content.
  • Free of sexism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry.
  • Skeptical or critical of ideas when appropriate, but without attacking those who hold them.

Comments that appear not to conform to this policy will be blocked or removed, and commenters who are repeatedly out of conformity may be banned. I hope and expect that blocking and banning will be very rare; but after all, these are the intertubes….


I acknowledge that I live and work on traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq peoples.

Photo: Me on Heimay, Westman Islands, Iceland.  (For a few thoughts inspired by this trip, see here, here, and here.) Photo © Kristie Heard

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