30 May 2002


This web journal is intended to give people a view into a working scientific lab. I suppose it’s an exercise in “public outreach,” to use a less-than elegant phrase.

My own research is invertebrate neuroethology. This is the “$5 description,” so let me break that down a bit for you.

“Invertebrates” means critters without backbones. I work mostly with crabs, crayfish, and lobsters, and a little less with insects. Other invertebrates are things like octopuses, snails, and worms and bugs and slimy things.

“Neuroethology” is trying to understand how animal's brains (the “neuro-” bit) let animals behave (the “ethology” bit).

Looking at what I’ve written so far, I can see there’s one little problem. You see, I'm claiming that this journal is a record of a working scientific lab. Heh. In fact, I've been at this job less than a year. I have a finished lab space, but zero equipment. In one way, I think this is a good thing for what I want to do here, since setting up a lab is a major task in and of its own right, and I don’t think lots of folks appreciate just how tricky a task it is.