Bi-Monthly News from NIMBioS
January-February 2019
A Cultural Psychologist, a Conservation Biologist, and a Rap Artist Walk into NIMBioS
Get Ready for April's Star-studded Lineup
For more than two decades, conservation biologist Krithi K. Karanth has studied the human dimensions of conservation in Asia—human-wildlife conflicts, land use change and the relationships between people and parks. NIMBioS and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, host Karanth in a talk on April 11 on “Living with wildlife: Insights from conservation research, technology and education programs in India.”
New York based rap artist and playwright Baba Brinkman will perform the world premiere of his "Rap Guide to Culture" on April 23. Best known for his "Rap Guide" series of science-based hip-hop albums and off-Broadway shows, Baba will also participate in and perform one of his signature “rap-ups” of the DySoC/NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Social Norms, April 23-25.
Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland Michele Gelfand will discuss her new book, "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World" on April 25. Her pioneering research into cultural norms has been cited thousands of times in the academic press and has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, and on NPR, among others. Gelfand is a co-organizer of the DySoC/NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Social Norms.
New Support for Short-term Visits at NIMBioS
NIMBioS is supporting visits of up to one week for groups of one to six people working on projects that conform to the NIMBioS mission to foster interdisciplinary collaborations, research and education at the interface of the quantitative and life sciences. Visitors work onsite at NIMBioS, may link the visit to a previous Working Group or other activity at NIMBioS, or to collaborations with our affiliated Centers (DySoC, NISER, and SAL). Applications are considered monthly. Click here to apply. 
NIMBioS Awards $50K to Graduate Students
Twenty graduate students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, each received a $2500 award this month to supplement their funding for research and education at UT. The awards were given following a competitive process, and recipients came from 10 UT departments. For more than a decade since the institute was established, NIMBioS has provided over 50 student-years of graduate support for more than 30 students pursuing degrees in at least 10 different programs at UT. Click here to read about the recipients.
Remote Sensing: Bird Species, Land Cover Mapping
NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow Luis Carrasco has published two new studies in the journal Remote Sensing. One uses Lidar to characterize forest structure and finds that horizontal and vertical variation of densities had different effects on bird species richness. The other study develops methods for land cover mapping with Google Earth Engine, demonstrating that temporal aggregation is a promising tool for integrating large amounts of data in an efficient way.
'Rule-of-Five' Framework for Teaching Modeling
In 2015, members of the NIMBioS Working Group on Teaching Quantitative Bio set about to improve teaching undergraduate quantitative biology. To that end, they have recently published a paper introducing a new "rule-of-five" framework that extends similar reform efforts used in calculus education. The framework is designed to unify mathematicians and biologists and improve student learning around modeling.
Ecological Network Group Unveils New R Software
A new R package from members of the NIMBioS Working Group on Ecological Network Dynamics is now available online. EcoNetGen will generate a wide range of random networks with specified size, average degree, modularity, and topological structure. Simulations and sampling routines are implemented using FORTRAN, and basic visualization methods are also included. Worked examples are also available for first-time package users.
#WhyISynthesize? Celebrating Collaboration
We're excited to join other North American synthesis centers this month to celebrate the value of synthesis science. Dozens of scientists from our communities have lent their voices to share why they synthesize, and we will be sharing their words on Twitter. Uncovered new insights? Gained new perspectives? Bridged diverse fields? Why do you synthesize? If you've ever been part of a synthesis project with NIMBioS and you're on Twitter, join the conversation by sharing reasons why you synthesize. Or just follow along and be inspired.
Selected Recent NIMBioS Publications

de Aguiar MAM, Newman E, Pires M, Boettiger C. 2018, August 13. EcoNetGen: Simulate and sample from ecological interaction networks (Version v0.2.1). Zenodo. [from NIMBioS Working Group on Ecological Network Dynamics]

Results produced from NIMBioS research activities are important in measuring our success. Please report your publications and other products resulting from NIMBioS activities. Learn how to acknowledge NIMBioS. For the complete list of NIMBioS products, click here .
NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.